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Icewind Dale
March 6, 2002 | Michael Phillips

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So, Baldur’s Gate II has been out on the Mac for an eternity, finishing it is but a fond memory for most RPG addicts. Diablo II & Summoner are great, yet a bit tired and worn. What is an RPG craving Mac user supposed to do during this dark, seemingly endless drought of dungeon crawling, dragon slaying, spell casting fun? Is lying under the bed in the fetal position appropriate behavior during such a crisis? Perhaps, taking a hobby is the best way to ride out these RPG doldrums… Is it time to pick up a copy of Martha Stewart Living? Neither solution looks very appealing… Even though Martha could be called a Mad Sorceress of all things domestic, reading her magazine isn’t quite as exhilarating as doing battle with a level 12 Necromancer. Is there any way out of this nightmare? Yes, indeed, good things come to those who wait.

In just a short span of time, those crazy kids at MacPlay will be bringing us Mac-using RPG zealots Black Isle’s highly successful Icewind Dale. Recently, I’ve had the chance to take Icewind Dale for a spin and I must say that it’s a sweet ride. Read on, my friends for but a small glimpse into this epic role-playing adventure. Like any uncharted territory, Icewind Dale is greatly intriguing…

It Begins…
Icewind Dale takes place in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons world known as the Forgotten Realms. Icewind Dale itself is a territory located in the northernmost part of the Forgotten Realms, near the ever-treacherous Spine of the World mountains.

Players begin their adventure sitting near a roaring fire at a quaint tavern nestled in the embattled town of Easthaven. A man named Hrothgar approaches the haggard band of travelers before him, offering a friendly hello and a proposal… The Archdruid, Arundel from the nearby town of Kuldahar has requested the aid of Hrothgar, it seems that aside from the unnaturally cold weather, strange beasts have been skulking about in the area. To make matters even more gruesome, many of Kuldahar’s residents have been disappearing in the dead of night, leaving only their families to mourn them. Thus, Hrothgar requires a little help for his investigation. So begins the adventure that is Icewind Dale! Upon leaving Easthaven, the expedition is decimated by a horridly suspicious avalanche, Hrothgar’s hired adventurers being the only survivors. Immediately players are thrust into battle as creatures swarm after the snow becomes still. While many would call Baldur’s Gate a game of exploration, Icewind Dale is clearly a game of combat. In Icewind Dale, blood is spilled early and often. While far more linear and a touch less rich than the story found in the Baldur’s Gate series, Icewind Dale’s plot is more than enough to keep players enthralled. This game isn’t just a mindless, hack & slash gore fest. I like pain, but only if it doesn’t hurt too much.


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