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BG1/BG2 - BG1TuTu Mod Review

Discussion in 'Mod Reviews' started by Mystra's Chosen, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    BG1TuTu
    Version Played: v4, FixPack release 1
    Review first posted on: April 20, 2004
    Review updated: April 22, 2004; April 24, 2004
    Download location: http://japh.fwstudios.net/bg1tutu/


    In the off chance that you don’t know what this mod does, here is the simple explanation: this is a conversion type mod which enables you to play Baldur’s Gate with the Baldur’s Gate II engine. That means that you are basically playing the BG1 story with all the BG2 benefits, like the added spells, kits, and better graphics. Best of both worlds, right? Sure. That is if you can get past the installation and don’t experience any bugs during gameplay.


    Installation

    Installation is potentially very complicated, and doubly so if you’re not a very computer literate person. I’ve heard more than a few people complain that they can’t figure out how to make it install. You may need to alter a configuration file with technical garble, among other things, to get the install .exe to work. Now, I’m sure it’s as easy to install as possible, but the fact remains that you may get frustrated and give up. However, should you manage to get the install going, it works flawlessly. It won’t stop in the middle and give you some unknown error. It uses WeiDU, so everything works like it should, and all in all it takes up only about 65MB. You also get the nifty option of choosing a kit for each joinable NPC (e.g. Ajantis > Cavalier).


    Gameplay

    Not much is changed as far as actual gameplay. Everything that was changed in BG2 is implemented in BG1 with this mod. The good and the bad.

    Being able to play with the higher resolution is a godsend (for me anyway). After playing #2, I just couldn’t stand to go back and play with such a tiny, pixellated viewing space.

    But, I also found that the game is a little too easy now that you have access to all the new spells and because your enemies don’t have the same repertoire you do, you’re able to, for example, silence them and they then can’t cast Vocalize. But, it’s easily countered for a player who wants to do so. Simply don’t use the new spells.

    Because the kits were created for BG2, many of them are either underpowered or overpowered. Kits like the Cavalier, who is immune to poison, fear, and charm, I feel are overpowered, while kits like the Assassin are at a serious disadvantage because of the 15 points per level they get to distribute among their thief skills. This can be overridden simply by not choosing any kits.

    A thief now has all the skills from BG2 (Detect Illusions, Set Snares, etc.) but also has to distribute points into two skills for stealth (Hide in Shadows and Move Silently). This all makes for a thief that is far less potent than in the original game.


    Bugs

    Unfortunately, many people give up trying to play this mod because of the numerous crippling bugs. One that I personally experience was the infamous Cloakwood #2 crash. For some reason the _ar2100.bcs file in the BG2 Override directory gets corrupted upon installation of BG1TuTu and this causes the game to crash when one attempts to enter the area. Although it was a relatively simple fix (just delete the offending file), it did take me a couple days to actually find out how to remedy the situation, which was more than a little frustrating.

    There are also many other bugs that I’ve heard talked of frequently on the Forgotten Wars forums. Bugs like severe lagging when in the Gnoll Stronghold and immediate crashing on starting a new game. Many bugs are fixed with the release of each FixPack however. I was lucky though, and did not experience any other bugs. Well, actually there was one where the game crashes right after Sarevok dies, but it’s not a big deal because the game stops there anyway. I think it has something to do with the FMV sequence.


    Abandonment Issues

    Unfortunately, BG1TuTu has been dropped by its maker, who goes by the name of “Japheth”. Its other crafters have decided to stick with it, but Japheth was the coder and therefore no more releases will be put forth after v5, which is expected to come out any time soon.

    At any rate, the FixPacks are coming out in a steady stream, which should compensate for the lack of new releases.


    Verdict

    All said and done, BG1TuTu can be downright buggy sometimes, but chances are on your side that everything will go just fine. And when they do, it’s a good thing (sorry for sounding like Martha there). I’ve heard many times that people wish they could play Baldur’s Gate with its sequel’s engine, which is what BG1TuTu does. You’re able to play a more realistic D&D game with lower levels (no level 40 nonsense) with more realistic weapons (common mercenaries carrying +3 weapons and armor is kind of ridiculous) and more realistic enemies (you’re not running into Dragons and Demons every 5 minutes). Okay, maybe “realistic” isn’t the right word, but you know what I mean.

    Anyway, I think it’s a really great idea that comes and delivers what it promises. If you're so used to playing BG2 that going back to slow walking and 640x480 res just makes you cringe, then this mod is for you. Who knows, it may just be the spark that will rekindle your love affair with Baldur’s Gate, the greatest game on Earth.



    Update: Changed the final paragraph because of some feedback from davidw and Apeman (see below). Removed one sentence from the first paragraph and added a sentence to the Gameplay section about the kits.

    Update: Changed according to SimDingo's comments.

    [ April 24, 2004, 23:25: Message edited by: Mystra's Chosen ]
     
  2. david w Gems: 19/31
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    If you don't mind me saying, that's kind of a negative review for the best BG mod of them all.

    Admittedly, I may be biased because I played the entire thing through from start to finish and the only serious bug I encountered was one right at the end - and as the game ends two seconds later anyway this isn't such a big deal.

    Is installation really so tricky? I just double-clicked on the file and it installed itself. I'm not sure how it could have easier.

    As for advantages the game brings that you didn't mention:

    * You can now rest by pressing a key and not having to go open another window and select the Sleep icon. Saves a LOT of time and irritation.

    * You recover ALL lost Hit Points when resting. One of the major pains about the original game was that you recovered one Hit Point when you rested, which meant, particularly in the later stages of the game when you might have 50+ Hit Points, that recovering lost Hit Points was a real drag.

    * The thief underpowered? Hardly. His set snares ability can take care of pretty much any enemy in the game, making him considerably more powerful than in the orignal game.

    * Normal swords no longer break every two or three combats. Sure, this might have been in keeping with the storyline of the original game due to the iron crisis but it was a pain when your longsword broke in the middle of a fight.
     
  3. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    I would hardly say it's the best mod out there, as all it really does is let you play BG2 a little more. ;) Many people are still content with the original engine anyways. Personally, the only reason I play with this mod is because of the higher res.

    As for the installation, you were lucky because you installed BG2 and BG1 in the default drive and folder (c:bad:Program Files\Black Isle\Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II - SoA), which had you not done you would have had to alter a file, like I said above.

    As for your other points...

    * Big deal.
    * I'll admit that I forgot to mention this, but you do not recover ALL your HP's. You must have healing spells memorized, as the engine casts those spells automatically (if needed). You wouldn've done this in BG1 anyway. All it is is a time saver.
    * In order for snares to become useful, you have to spend precious points on it throughout the game and therefore sacrificing. Also, according to your next point, you've never actually used snares because up until FixPack 1, they never worked. Oh, and weapon breakage is in for FixPack 1, so one of your points is invalid.
    Sorry... just trying to defend my work :D
     
  4. david w Gems: 19/31
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    Are we playing different versions of the mod? I wonder...

    In mine, I recover all lost HPs when resting. This is even when the only member in my party is a solo Thief with no spellcasting abilities.

    Yes, taking snares reduces your thieving abilities in other areas, but how many of those abilities are needed anyway? Does anyone waste time with detect illusions? Are there even any illusions in BG1? Pickpockets isn't that handy as there aren't that many great items to pickpocket and it's probably far easier to buy a few potions of master thievery and go on a pickpocking spree than spend precious points on an ability that doesn't get a whole lot of use.


    Sorry, I just felt your review was a little too negative for my liking. For me, Tutu got rid of many of the annoying things about BG1 *and* allowed you to play with a higher resolution. Maybe I wouldn't be singing its praises if I'd ran into installation problems but I never encountered any so for me the mod is the best thing to come out in the past few years.
     
  5. Apeman Gems: 25/31
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    I've got to agree with davidW here mystra, I played one of the first versions of the mod and I encountered no bugs at all (except the one with sarevok).

    It's not like this mod overpowers characters by their kits, the good thing about this mod is that you can choose yourself. It is very easy to play this game exactly like BGI, just ignore the new spells and abilities. I played through with a sorcerer the first time, overpowered? a bit but the main thing I had fun. Too easy? no, I picked some character which couldn't hold a decent sword (Minsc a beastmaster, holding a staff), which made the greater werewolf a huge challange.

    The real reason I played this mod was for the graphics. Not because I played BGII first, I played BG 1 over 10 times after BGII honestly, and I never really cared about the graphics. The main thing for me was that in BGII you hadn't any beautiful outdoors areas. In BGI you have and they are emphasized by Tutu.

    A good note also is that you can open the map and your chars will walk while you are looking at the map. This for me was a pain in BGI (especially in the maze)

    Finally, I am probably the worst computer adept here on the boards, I play games and I'm glad that it stops there, but I had no trouble at all with installing the thing. Just read the readme.
     
  6. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    I can totally respect how some people think this mod is the best thing since WeiDU, but I scoured the forums for hours and I read how a lot of people were having a lot of trouble. There's a bug where, even though it installed fine, the game crashes right after character generation. Now that's a pain.

    Anyway, I'm not saying it's a waste of time or anything. It's really cool to see everything you remember from BG1 look like it's in BG2... kinda euphoric ;) But, I really wouldn't go as far as saying it's the best mod out there. As far as that goes, I'd have to say Ascension (although that upcoming Dragonlance mod sounds amazing!)

    But, if you're talking about the best mod for BG1, then you're probably right. It's really too bad there aren't more mods for BG1.

    Anyway, if it'll make you happier, I'll try and put a more positive spin on it.
     
  7. Apeman Gems: 25/31
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    It made me happier! ;) , maybe I'm a bit biased because I didn't encounter any bugs. But I thought the review was a bit to negative, and may steer some BG fans away from the mod, while it could be worthwile. Then again I would have probably made the mod review to positive, good job Mystra :thumb:
     
  8. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    Yeah, well I thought about it and decided you were at least half right.

    But you probably would've been turned off a little bit if you'd read some of the stuff I did in various forums.
     
  9. SimDing0 Gems: 9/31
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    I think you overplay the difficulty of the installation process given that there are some fairly detailed instructions on how to get Tutu working posted on the main site. Having said this, the majority of crashing "bugs" tend to be caused by bad installs; the usual candidate is probably not bothering with a full install of BG1.

    No changes are made to the BG1 monsters. What difference did you have in mind with Greater Wolfweres?

    Um, the second release is out. Check http://www.pocketplane.net/tutufix/ for details. This includes a fix for the Cloakwood 2 crash and the crash following Sarevok's death.
    While updates may be sparse, as a general rule I fix anything that is drawn to my attention on the Tutu Fixpack forums before a new release. Were there severe problems that were making the game unplayable for some people, I would probably be able to offer almost daily updates if informed of the problem.

    I'd have to say: so what if it's been abandoned? It really doesn't matter, when you've got the fixpack which resolves the same bugs anyway. And v5 won't be coming any time soon, I can assure you of that. If there's anything that was expected to be included in v5 that's not made it into the fixpack, I need to hear about it.
     
  10. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    I actually don't have TotSC... I just wanted to sound important :( :p

    I just heard that the GW Loup Garou(?) was made harder by BG2 standards. Guess not.


    That's what I meant by saying this:

    And I didn't know the new FixPack was out.

    Thanks for your comments! :)
     
  11. david w Gems: 19/31
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    The greater werewolf is definitely made harder by Tutu being installed. His regeneration abilities are well beyond what damage I was able to inflict with a party of 7-8th level, especially when only two or three of them had weapons capable of harming him.
     
  12. SimDing0 Gems: 9/31
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    They may be harder than their BG2 equivalents, but there should be no changes from BG1. They MAY have experienced the regeneration bug that plagued various creatures in BG2 until Baldurdash fixed it, and the latest Fixpack resolves this issue in Tutu.
     
  13. TBurma316 Gems: 3/31
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    Just started playing Tutu yesterday and the first thing I noticed were the random encounters. There seem to be a lot more of them than the original and can cause quite a few problems especially if you are soloing with a non combat class. I'm assuming its using the BG2 engine to generate these encounters, but as BG2 had very few wilderness environments you didn't really notice them, but in BG1 you find yourself fighting for every last step.

    This isn't necessarily a problem, you don't have to fight them, just run, but it can be an annoyance to suddenly be faced with 6 grass monkeys (gibberlings) and you've just used up your last sleep spell with your'e solo sorcerer :mad:
     
  14. Subra Gems: 8/31
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    Greater wolfwere at the end of the ulcaster dungeon was unable to be hit by +2 and +3 weapons...thus impossible for my party to kill it.

    Some random encounters are more difficult like early maps with mobs of gibberlings....some are easier. For instance, in Peldvale and Larswood, the Black Talon Elites are scarcer in TuTu and only spawn in groups of three instead of five.
     
  15. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    I noticed the Black Talon Elite were a lot harder. It's been a while since I played the original, but I don't remember those guys killing my beefy tank with 2 or 3 cold arrows.
     
  16. Register Gems: 29/31
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    Well, IIRC, they can. Those cold arrows together with the BT's high attack power have killed many 'a Minsc for me in the original BG.
     
  17. Jaguar Gems: 27/31
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    The main problem that I had was the fact that I have an old computer and it just couldn't handle a full install of BG1 through ToB. She was slower then a snail on the vertical. :(

    I do wish I could have gone further into it then I did, but alas, maybe next time.
     
  18. GodRules44 Gems: 4/31
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    Unfortunately I haven't been able to fix the full install on BG2 so I can't use it :(
     
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