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Baldur's Gate Spoilers For Confusing/Unsatisfying Quests

A handful of Baldur's Gate 2 quests just do not resolve very well. They can leave you unsure if you've really finished them at all or you've done something wrong somehow, or missed part of it. There are also a few quests with more than one ending, and you may want to know what the other alternatives were. So here are partial spoilers for those quests that may leave you wondering.

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Jaheira's Romance: This romance plot has a definite endpoint to it--Jaheira sleeps with you. (Well, or you can decline. The romance won't be broken up whether you decide to sleep together or not, though Jaheira clearly prefers it with the sex.) The main confusion here is that the plot takes an extremely long time to finish, and there are several points during it where the plot will not advance unless you sleep outdoors somewhere. But if Jaheira hasn't asked you to stay the night, then no, you're not done with this plot yet. (Even after the conversation about spending the night together, incidentally, Jaheira will make some little comments indicating that you are still a couple--there just won't be any more romance dialogues or decision points. You get to live happily ever after, or at least till Throne of Bhaal.)

Viconia's Romance: This romance plot doesn't end, exactly, so much as sputter out. That's not because you did anything wrong, but because that's how Viconia is. She will tell you your romance has no future no matter what you do. She may be proved wrong in ToB, but as far as SoA goes, she's right. That's what you get for falling for an evil priestess, people. You can talk her into staying with the party rather than leaving, but you'll have the same chance to continue her romance in ToB regardless. Earlier in the romance, however, there is a very similar dialogue to which there is no right answer--Viconia will dump you no matter what you say. This happens if you have sex with Viconia the night she complains she is too tired. As everyone should know, that puts women in a very bad mood. (-: If you find yourself in the dialogue about your romance having no future early in the romance, before the yochlol has appeared, try reloading and just cuddling with Viconia the night she says she's too tired for sex, and she will be in a much better mood. Isn't it nice to know some things are the same even in fantasy worlds with women from alien races? (-:

Aerie's Romance: At the end of this romance, Aerie will ask you to sleep with her. If you do, then in the morning she will decide she feels exploited and will either leave the party forever or stay but dump you, depending on how much you grovel about it. The 'happy' ending only comes if you decline to sleep with her, at which point she says you made the right choice but then never mentions it again. Neither ending is particularly satisfying, in my opinion, and I was positive I had missed something in this one. Nope. That's just Aerie for you. The romance will also be irrevocably destroyed if you let Phaere have her way with you, by the way (both of the other ladies are able to accept an apology, but Aerie will go ballistic). You may not realize you've been dumped, as she's a bit vague about it, but that's what happened all right. As for the triangle with Haerdalis, there are three possible endings to this: Haerdalis may back gracefully out if your relationship is advanced enough by the time he arrives; you can back gracefully out if it isn't; or, if you don't care to back out, you and Haerdalis will fight for her. The last option may result in you winning or Haerdalis winning, depending on the choices you make. Haerdalis and/or Aerie may leave the party if you don't play this out carefully enough.

Anomen's Romance: This is the quintessential "You mean that's it?" quest. Anomen will have sex with you, say he loves you, and then never talk about the romance again. The end. He hasn't dumped you, but the only way you can tell that is by the occasional off-handed reference to you as 'dear'. He doesn't write, he doesn't call... sometimes this game is a little too realistic, if you ask me. (-:

However, if the romance abruptly ends before Anomen sleeps with you, you have probably done something wrong. When Anomen apologizes for yelling at you after asking about your divine heritage, he says he feels like giving up on his dream. There are wrong answers here, though it may not seem like it at the time. If you counselled Anomen to kill Saerk, then changing your mind and telling him to steel himself and obey the order will confuse him, whereas if you counselled him to toe the lawful path, changing your mind and telling him to stop worrying about what the order thought will confuse him. If he gets these conflicting signals from you, he will dump you, and you will not hear any more lovetalk out of him. Since he doesn't say he's dumping you--just that he "needs time to think" or something else neutral--it is definitely possible to incorrectly assume the romance is still live. It's not. Unless he calls you a "dark flame" at the end of this conversation, your romance is over. Also, when Anomen goes charging off to confront Saerk or Cor, you must follow him immediately or Anomen will wreak some bloody revenge and then either flee forever or kill himself. If you follow him, you can talk him out of violence, but you must choose your words carefully--even some alternatives that seem like positive ones can still result in his bloody revenge and leaving you forever.

Jaheira and the Harpers: This very long quest culminates in Elminster (using the world's most idiotic alias in existence, "Terminsel,") appearing, telling Jaheira that she has done the right thing, and giving her an enchanted Harper pin. If your reputation is too low, Jaheira will doubt herself and Elminster won't give her the pin, but if it's average or higher it'll be a happy ending. If you haven't heard anything from the Harpers in a long time, try sleeping out-of-doors somewhere--a few of the plot points only happen outdoors at night.

Save De'Arnise Keep: It is patently obvious as you finish this keep that the Roenall family has paid the trolls to invade. The chief bad troll says that someone more powerful than he has hired them, and the commander in the palisade tells you that if Lord De'Arnise dies the Roenalls will inherit the land. Well, surprise, Lord De'Arnise dies and the Roenalls show up on the doorstep. But then the plot ends and the game never seems to get back to it. Did you miss something? Well, no. That's it. If you let Nalia come with you in your party you will get to confront some of the other dastardliness of Isaea Roenall, and if you're a fighter you can take the keep over yourself and clash with Roenalls who think they should be in charge, but the question of who paid the trolls will not be answered in this game. Grump.

Nalia's Annoying Relatives: At the end of this plot, Isaea swears you have not heard the last of him. He is, however, wrong. At least for now. He may come back to seek revenge in Throne of Bhaal. Or he may have been sent to work in a salt mine and died of pneumonia. He certainly never shows up in this game again. You can take the hint from the incriminating slaver documents as sufficient reason to storm the guarded complex in the Temple District and kick the slavers' butts, though.

Manhunt: Most people never finish this quest, since completing it robs you of the much more interesting and profitable Planar Sphere quest. It is possible to actually complete this quest, either by killing Valygar and bringing his body to Tolgerias or by pretending to befriend Valygar and betraying him to Tolgerias. Doing this is, however, without any redeeming value at all. All the good-aligned NPCs will leave your party forever over the injustice of this act, and the evil ones will slap you upside the head for giving up all the adventure and loot in the Planar Sphere for Tolgerias' paltry reward which you could have gotten anyway. You will miss out on one of the cooler quests in the game entirely, lose a really good artifact, and, if you are a mage, you will never be able to get your stronghold. To add insult to injury, Tolgerias will not tell you any useful information at all, and he will call you a fool and teleport out, and you will never get a chance to kill him. Bottom line: I was really pleased to see that the game was set up to handle the possibility of a player trying to kiss up to the Cowled Wizards, but the results if you do are really not worth the effort it takes to see.

Korgan's Book: I had a problem wherein Korgan's ex-friends wouldn't talk to him (they were supposed to have an angry argument with him that ended in their turning hostile). If they won't say anything, you can force an attack on them and get the same result. The book itself is, as Korgan suggests, useless except to sell.

Revenge Of The Ripper: This is a highly dissatisfying end to an otherwise really engaging trilogy of quests. Breaking the code leads you to the murderous skin dancer's boss--at which point you can either kill him (for which you didn't need the code anyway) or keep pretending to be Rejiek and get the boss to make you the human skin armor. To do this you'll need to kill the silver dragon--by which point what the hell would you want the human skin armor for? If you can kill dragons, the shadow dragon armor is much better than the human skin one. I think that was just in there for the grossness factor or something. Anyway, once you've tracked down the boss and told him his name, it's anti-climactic, but there's nothing more to do with him unless you want to make the evil skin armor. If you tell him you're going to kill him, he will threaten you for crossing "the Rune"... a good enough clue for me. Go back to the Bridge District with a Rogue Stone, enter the weird Twisted Rune house, and kill them all for foisting such a lame ending to this plot on you. If they won't give you resolution, make your own, dammit!

Anomen's Sister: Another extremely dissatisfying plot. Unless your main character is female and involved in a romance with Anomen, then no, you will never learn who killed his sister. You will never be able to investigate Saerk. You will never be able to get the authorities to figure the case out. You will never be able to do anything with this at all. Bah.

If you are involved in a romance with Anomen, then you will find out who the murderer was--however, you will never have made the right decision. If you counsel Anomen to kill Saerk, the real murderer will have been someone else. If you counsel Anomen to let Saerk go, he will have been the real murderer after all. There is nothing you can do to change this, so don't bother reloading and taking the other path. Besides, you can achieve a primarily happy ending either way.

Jaheira's Curse: Jaheira's curse does not go away immediately after killing Ployer. It will go away within 24 hours, on its own. You don't need to keep the lock of hair. There are two different ways to dispose of Ployer: show up and kill him (not too tough a fight unless it's very early in the game for you), or first find his henchmen and bribe them to do the killing for you. Both have the same result.

Save Garren's Child: This quest sort-of-ends with the return of Garren's child, but his conversation with you at that time is rather half-hearted, implying that he is not entirely satisfied with your rescue. Well, he's not. He wants you to kill Firkraag. You don't have to do this, but it's fun and Firkraag deserves it. If you succeed at this task, Garren's son/daughter will be happy with you, but Garren himself will continue to stand around saying nothing unless you happen to be a paladin, at which point he'll send you to the Order of the Radiant Heart with his endorsement for knighthood. If you're not a paladin, it can be very frustrating to have Garren just sit there ignoring the fact that you've slain his mortal enemy, but you can console yourself with the fact that no matter what character class you are playing, your Stronghold will be ten times better than the lousy paladin one, so pat yourself on the back and move on.

Cernd's Baby: This quest has a clear and satisfying end, in that your party is able to save Cernd's baby and he gratefully takes it back to the Druids with him. However, there are a number of loose ends at the end of this quest: what was Deril doing with that lich? What was the lich doing with the baby? Did Deril kill Cernd's ex-wife or not? Does it make any difference whether you kill Deril and/or the lich? And what is behind that mysterious unopenable door? Unfortunately, these things are apparently not to be known by mere mortals like us. You saved the baby; that's as much resolution as you're going to get. (For now, anyway--the lich made some comment about meeting again that may foreshadow TOB...)

The Nether Scroll: You don't have to do anything to get Edwin back to normal. Just wait, and he'll get a couple of encounters with other Red Wizards and eventually be de-girlified. These meetings will only happen in the city, though, so if you've gone to Spellhold, he'll be female till you get back--just kick back and enjoy his whining. (-:

The Hidden: This is the least satisfying quest in the game, and not just because you can't stop the mother from going back to her abusive husband (which you can't). You also don't even have the option of siding with the githyanki (the game assumes you're on the illithid's side and has the githyanki sense your loyalty to him). You never learn who the "Enlightened" are (besides a lame Illuminati refererence, natch), you never learn what Jan's uncle's connection to the illithid is, and perhaps most irritatingly of all, you never learn what the hell was wrong with this girl. Where did a gnome child get cursed with this incurable psionic disease? Did the illithid give it to her? What? Sorry, it's too deep a mystery for you to find out (read "the game designers couldn't be bothered to come up with a plausible story.") I hope I'm wrong and that there's a second plot I haven't found yet, or maybe in ToB, that will resolve this story. But I'm not holding my breath. This plot is slightly less moronic if you have Haerdalis with you, who will make a commendable but not especially successful attempt to make sense of the illithid situation for you. You can also find an off-handed reference to the Hidden in the illithid area in the Temple sewers, but nothing that makes this quest any more rewarding. As for the gnome woman, she goes back to her gangster husband, and though Jan claims the story isn't over yet, he's wrong and it is.

Scrambled Eggs: There are many different endings to this plot. First of all, you don't have to retrieve the eggs for the dragon at all. You can let either Ardulace or Phaere sacrifice them; if you do this you will have to fight the whole drow city plus a demon, and if you try to talk to Adalon she'll attack you too, and you'll have to find your own way out of the Underdark. You can ignore the whole quest and leave the Underdark as soon as you find the exit, if you can talk the drow guards into it (you'll need a high charisma and/or a lot of gold). Or, if you're evil, you can sacrifice the eggs yourself. If you do this and play your cards right with the demon you can get an evil magic item out of it. If you play your cards wrong, it will kill you. Those are usually the rules when dealing with demon lords, aren't they? Anyway, assuming you do plan to bring the eggs back to Adalon, you still have several valid paths. You can't just take the eggs and run, because Ardulace will have sealed the city. If you spared Solaufein's life, you can pull a double switch--either give each priestess a fake egg and watch the fun, or rat on Phaere to Ardulace, get her killed, and give Ardulace fake eggs. If you killed Solaufein or just really want fake silver eggs for your mantelpiece, you can also just interrupt the ceremony to kill Ardulace (unsealing the city,) grab the eggs, and hack your way out. (Do this before she summons the demon, or the game will think the real eggs have been sacrificed.) Finally, it may be possible to give Ardulace Phaere's key (thus getting her executed), pickpocket the key back, and switch the eggs yourself. Adalon, unsurprisingly, will not be fooled by any of the fakes. You can even escape the Underdark with the real eggs still in your possession rather than giving them to Adalon--we'll see in ToB if they hatch!!!

The Phaere Quests: You have no choice about killing the beholder, but each of the other quests has potential alternative endings. It's possible to talk Solaufein into letting you handle the smurfs on your own if he likes you or you have a decent charisma, at which point you can talk the svirfneblin leader into giving you his helmet in four or five different ways (in fact, if you kill them after sending Solaufein away, Jan and the paladins will start screaming at you.) As for Solaufein himself, you can spare him simply by leveling with him. Choose the right conversational options and he'll give you useful information and also tell you about himself, an interesting story. You will get the option to spare him even if he hates you. And finally, Phaere's seduction can be avoided easily if your intelligence and charisma are high, at which point several amusing lies are available to you (you can claim to be celibate, cursed, or a eunuch.) You can successfully claim to belong to somebody else who she does not know even if you have a low intelligence, but it's not easy to pick that option out from the array of lies that will not work, and she will turn the whole city hostile against you if you refuse her too much. If you are in a relationship with Aerie, she will get upset and dump you if you accede to Phaere's demands. You can still maintain relationships with the other two; Jaheira will say she trusts you if you tell her it was against your will (though this may actually have to have been the case), and Viconia, matriarchal girl that she is, will accept that the fault was Phaere's.

Pinky and the Brain: You can finish this quest to no ill-effect, but you can also call the fish-thing's bluff. It doesn't want its scheme to kill a drow priestess revealed to the city either, and it will shut up with no real effort on your part at all (and you will get an equivalent XP reward to killing Qilue). In fact, the only way to provoke the fish into revealing you is to tell the duergar you refuse to talk to it before it has told you its nefarious plans, as it then has nothing to lose. Don't do this and the fish won't hurt you even if you're snotty to it. (-:

Vampiric Touch: There is only one way to solve this quest and revive your love, but there are several ways to learn about it. If your reading comprehension skills are adequate, you can figure it out yourself from the books in Bodhi's locked chest. Or, you can take these books back to the temple of Oghma (whose stamp is on them) and they'll send you to a bookseller who will spell out for you exactly what you need to do. Or, you could go back to Elhan, who will direct you to the temple of Oghma. Talking to any or all of these three hintgivers will get you some different dialogue, so if you haven't tried one or the other you might want to give it a shot.

Paladin Quest #3: Protecting the Spoiled Girl The man who comes to pick Tyrianna up is sometimes her real godfather, and other times an impostor. It's random. You can guess, but if you give her to the impostor, he will kill her and you'll get in trouble. If you withhold her from her true guardian, you will also get in trouble. How can you know the difference? Well, here's a big hint for you: as a paladin, you should have a special means at your disposal for differentiating between kindly godfathers and vile abductors. Use that, and you'll be ok. (-:

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