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IWD2 - Undead Targos Mod Review

Discussion in 'Mod Reviews' started by Rednik, May 8, 2004.

  1. Rednik Gems: 21/31
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    [​IMG] Undead Targos Mod
    Version: Undead Targos v6
    Review Posted: May 8th, 2004
    Review Updated: May 9th, 2004
    Mod Download Location: http://www.weidu.org/iwd2.html#targos

    Background:

    Made by Wesley Weimer, this mod makes several changes to refashion the incredibly boring tutorial chapter of Icewind Dale 2 into something more interesting and cerebral. The Undead Targos mod does away with the mindless goblin hacking and replaces it with a series of incredibly difficult tactical encounters with skeletons and other undead. As a bonus, Weimer adds some convenient features to speed up the chapter, such as items laying on the ground and earlier conversations to procure items. Finally, the difficulty of the last Torak fight is ramped up with improved enemies and some additional enemy spell casters.


    Starting Out:

    First of all, I would recommend that you play through the game at least once before installing this mod, at least to understand the nuances of IWD2 and become more familiar with the combat. I can say with conviction that this mod is no walk in the park. The game starts off the same, with your characters arriving on a ship from Luskan, but a short while into it, you will notice that a different sort of beast plagues Targos, three hit-die skeletons. Weimer, being the excellent modder that he is, even changes the dialogue to suit the new monsters( Wouldn’t having the fishermen complain about goblins while you are getting your ass handed to you by skeletons piss you off?). At first, the monsters may seem impossible, tearing your characters and NPCs like Jorun Tamewaters apart. Don’t uninstall just yet, Weimer includes several items that can tip the scales in your favor if you talk to the right people.

    Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death:

    During your travels around the bleak town of Targos, you’ll notice that you can get some items from the messenger boy quests rather early. Get them. It’ll save you a lot of footwork later on. Personally, I think that this should be made into a separate mod, just because of the convenience. Unfortunately, any time saved by this feature is later eaten up by the harder battles.

    Better Bosses:

    Okay, so you’ve cleared out the docks, and by this point, you’ll think you have those nasty undead on the ropes. All that’s left is the simple task of defending Targos’ walls, right? Wrong. In what is arguably the best part of the mod, the walls of Targos are attacked by undead hordes. The attacks are incredible, with interesting unit variety(It’s better not to spoil it) and a palpable sense of urgency. This is the point where every item given to you throughout the course of exploring Targos comes into play, and trust me, they can be used to devastating effect. The last part of the mod improves Torgal, the orc who would send unit after unit of weak orcs after you, only to be killed himself with minimal effort. Undead Targos changes that completely. Torak now has beefed up stats and AI, and is flanked with a new assortment of henchmen which actually coordinate their actions. This battle felt great because it seemed like Torak was finally the badass who was equal to your party, and defeating him was even more satisfying than before. A great way to end a great mod.

    The Bottom Line:
    This is a great mod for anyone who is passionate about the combat in Icewind Dale. Purists will love it, but those who are new to the game might find it exceedingly difficult. Also, while the improved messenger boy quests are very convenient, they do not belong in this mod, because the time saved is devoured by the toughened enemies. Perhaps it should be added to the Icewind Dale 2 Ease-of-Use mod. Lastly, I'd like to say that this is a great mod, and kudos to Wesley Weimer for another example of his superb production values. In fact, when I played it, this mod had no bugs to be found. I heard that some people experienced a bug in the installation, but that was taken care of in version 5. Although it is light on the roleplaying(an overstatement) and can seem nigh-impossible, this mod is extremely fun and will give you a deep satisfaction after every battle.

    [ August 10, 2004, 20:33: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  2. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    LOL! "Give me convienience or give me death". That's a Dead Kennedys album!
     
  3. Rednik Gems: 21/31
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    [​IMG] I was wondering if someone would spot that. :p

    What did you think of my review?
     
  4. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    Well, I may not be the best critic, as I don't have IWD2, and therefore have never played Undead Targos (hell, I don't even know what Targos is!), but I do have a couple of kindly observations.

    1) it's pretty damn short.
    2) "ramped" is not a word I, or the dictionary, are aware of. (para 1, line 6)
    3) you have many short sections. Rather than that, try to meld some together. Like a "What's New" or "Additions" section rather than Starting, Convienience, and Bosses sections. You have an entire headline for bugs, which is two lines (!).

    Your content is top notch though. :)
     
  5. david w Gems: 19/31
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    You also refer to the enemy leader alternatively as Torgal and Torik. Torgal is the leader of the trolls at De'Arnise in BG2.
     
  6. Rednik Gems: 21/31
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    YES! I am a beholder now.

    Yep, I'll make the necessary changes. As far as ramped goes, it's california surfer talk. And damn it, it is Torak isn't it? I keep mixing those johnskies up.

    The shortness of the review has to do with the shortness of the mod, which basically just tweaked some battles and made some quests shorter, not that that's a bad thing. :)
     
  7. Razal'dar Gems: 6/31
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    Do these harder battles offer any extra xp by any chance?
     
  8. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    That would kind of defeat the purpose of harder battles, as more XP would make you more powerful and therefore make the battles easier.
     
  9. Razal'dar Gems: 6/31
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    Yes but it would be nice to be rewarded for your hard efforts.
     
  10. Rednik Gems: 21/31
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    Yes. One of those beastly skeletons is only 37 exp. :bang:
     
  11. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Nice review. Once you've defeated Torak, does the rest of the game just carry on as normal?

    Is this really the only mod of this type available for IWD2?
     
  12. Rednik Gems: 21/31
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    Heh, sorry about the late response.

    Yes, from my play-through, it was normal after you defeated Torak.

    Unfortunately, there aren't any other mods that add much real content to IWD. There is one for extra stores and one for more cleric kits though.
     
  13. Cryo Mantis Gems: 3/31
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    I'm assuming right now that you've played Baldur's Gate or Baldur's Gate II. You ever noticed when Drizzt spoke of Icewind Dale or the Ten-Towns? Targos is one of the Ten-Towns of Icewind Dale. In fact, IIRC, Targos has the largest Ten-Town military (if you could call it that). In fact, I think it's got the only guard of all the Ten-Towns. I believe the rest rely on militia men.

    After playing Baldur's Gate II though, you kind of feel sorry for the Ten-Towns. The Legion of the Chimera would've wiped them out, but had it attacked Amn it might have only caused marginal damage.
     
  14. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    What about Bryn-Shander?
     
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