Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal is the expansion pack for the computer role-playing game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, and is the final chapter in the Baldur's Gate series. It adds one large optional bonus area to the Baldur's Gate II game called Watcher's Keep, which is a multi-level dungeon of sorts. It also extends the main plot line to an epic conclusion. There are also several new powerful weapons, a higher level cap, a further refined Infinity Engine (graphics), and new class-related feats and magical skills. A novelization of the game exists, written by Drew Karpyshyn.
- The final chapter of Bhaalspawn saga that culminates the Bhaalspawn story. Set in new locations in Tethyr.
- 40 level limit, new high-level monsters and items.
- New optional dungeon that could be accessed from both original Shadows of Amn game and Throne of Bhaal campaign: the legendary Watcher's Keep, where the great demon prince Demogorgon is held captive.
- All of the previous recruitable NPCs from Shadows of Amn are available with the exception of Yoshimo. The expansion disc adds Sarevok to the game, who is resurrected (albeit with none of his original divine essence) and may join the player's party.
War breaks out throughout Tethyr between the agitated Bhaalspawn who turn out to be numerous and fight each other for power. The player must venture through treacherous regions, including the besieged city of Saradush, the Fire Giant-controlled Marching Mountains, and the desert village of Amkethran. Five legendary Bhaalspawn, each so powerful that they are impervious to normal weapons, rise to power and notoriety, forcing the player character to defeat them either for personal glory or for the fate of Tethyr.
As the story progresses, the Five kill all their brethren despite the efforts of Mellisan, a woman who wanted to save all the innocent Bhaalspawn and tried to keep them safe in Saradush. Only when the player kills off the Five and uncovers his own power within the pocket plane under the Solar's guide is the truth revealed: Mellisan is in fact Amelyssan the Blackhearted, the mastermind behind the Five and the slaughter of all the Bhaalspawn. She was once Bhaal's high priestess, to whom he entrusted the task of his resurrection. She does not intend to resurrect the god, however; instead, she is preparing to become goddess of Murder herself.
With all quests finished and all Bhaalspawn killed, the player must journey to the planar Throne of Bhaal for the great final battle against Amellysan. Ultimately, the player is presented with the choice of ascending the throne of Bhaal and becoming the new God of Murder, or destroying it and returning to peaceful life as a mortal. The Main Character may also ascend the throne of Bhaal and banish Bhaal's evil essence, becoming a deity dedicated to good and righteousness.
- Melissan: A mysterious woman who meets the main character early in the game and offers help and information. Melissan claims to help the innocent Bhaalspawn who are caught up in the war and solicits the main character's help throughout the game. Her real motives remain mysterious throughout most of the game. Her true name is revealed to be Amelyssan the Blackhearted, and she is the mastermind behind the Five and the deaths of all Bhaalspawns. She is to become the new goddess of Murder and is the final enemy in Baldur's Gate saga. Voiced by Heidi Shannon.
The Five Bhaalspawn destroying Tethyr and attempting to fulfill the prophecy are:
- Illasera: A weak human Bhaalspawn with a lot of bravado. She is the first Bhaalspawn the player character encounters in the Throne of Bhaal. Voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- Yaga-Shura: A Fire Giant besieging the city of Saradush with his army. He would be invulnerable but for an Achilles' heel in which the player character has to sooner or later solve in a series of quests which involve destroying his heart to render him vulnerable but no less fearsome. Voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Sendai: Drow Cleric/Mage. The player character does not get the chance to draw swords against her immediately but must first defeat wave after wave of statues of Sendai, all of different classes. Voiced by Vanessa Marshall.
- Abazigal: A half-dragon of great power. The player character has to first kill his son, Draconis, outside Abazigal's lair before setting up a meeting with him. Both Abazigal and Draconis start off in human forms before changing into their immensely more powerful dragon forms during their respective encounters. Abazigal is voiced by Jim Cummings.
- Balthazar: A good-aligned Monk of immense power, who feels the only way to destroy the curse of Bhaal is to become the Lord of Murder, and then end his own life. Such is his power that he is even immune to the Timestop spell. Voiced by Jeff Osterhage.
Other prominent NPCs are:
- Gromnir Il-Khan: A half-orc Bhaalspawn who is the leader of the town of Saradush. While at the beginning it is believed that he is mad and paranoid, his wild theories about Melissan turn out to be perfectly true. Voiced by Jim Cummings.
- Cespenar: An imp who can refer to his 'secret recipes' in order to forge wonderful weapons from special bits of items that the player collects along the journey. He claims that he is the main character's private butler and respects him/her as the "Great One". Voiced by Jeff Bennett.
- Solar: A Celestial guide of the player character. She resides inside the pocket plane, the place dedicated to the PC, who has to uncover all his potential by overcoming challenges and revealing his own origins. Voiced by Charity James.
- Demogorgon: A demon prince of tremendous power and arguably the most difficult opponent in the series, included in the Watcher's Keep expansion area as an optional boss. Voiced by Jim Cummings.
- GameSpy.com awarded Throne of Bhaal its Best of 2001 PC Expansion Pack.
- IGN.com awarded Throne of Bhaal an Editors' Choice Award.
- The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences named Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal as Role Playing Game of the Year for 2001.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Conrad, Jeremy (2001-06-29). Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal (Review). IGN.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-19
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Lafferty, Michael (2001-08-24). Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal Review. GameZone. Retrieved on 2008-01-19
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Moran, Reid (2001-07-03). Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal (PC) Review. G4 TV. Retrieved on 2008-01-19
- ↑ PC Expansion Pack of the Year: Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. GameSpy.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-19
- ↑ IGN.com Editors' Choice Awards. IGN.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-19
- ↑ Varanini, Giancarlo (2002-03-05). Fifth annual AIAS awards announced. GameSpot.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-19