Hello and greetings from Eastern Europe, myname is ColdBeer and this time I want to tell you sad story about canceled Baldur's GateIII: The Black Hound game.
If you never knew about it, it will be a prettyinteresting story to hear.
Don't worry, It has nothing to do with a newestBaldur's Gate 3 being developed by the Larian Studios – that game is alive and kicking, there is no need to be concerned, just relax and listen to interesting story.
You might hear something unexpected that mayinterest you as a fan of classic RPG games.
The sequel to Baldur’s Gate 2, The BlackHound was first announced in a year 2001.
It is strange, but the game had no relationwith a plot, location or even characters of the previous Baldur’s Gate games.
In fact even Bioware had nothing to do withthe game – instead the Black Isle Studios were in charge of production, and despitebeing famous for developing such games as Fallout, Planescape: Torment or Icewind Dale, studio is also known for it’s unfinished projects, such as Torn, Stonekeep II and classicisometric Fallout 3.
That’s a shame.
Indeed, and including third Baldur’s Gate, that’s a lot of unfinished work for one small company.
Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound was bestknown by a codename Project Jefferson, named after a new 3D engine they were suppose touse instead of Infinity Engine used in a first two Baldur’s Gate games.
Actually this engine was never used in a successfulgame – third isometric Fallout, known as Van Buren, which was the other game usingthis engine, was also cancelled a bit later.
Great! Yeah, great.
It sounds ironic, but actually it is.
Because Van Buren’s tech demo was leakedonto the Internet in 2007 thus showing us the engine first hand.
Imagine Baldur’s Gate made with this.
At that time it would definitely be a decentgame.
Although It may possibly be that the name“Baldur’s Gate III” was just a legal trick, as during its development Interplaylost the Dungeons & Dragons license to Atari but could still develop D&D games under theBaldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale brands.
So, they did.
The team was led by Josh Sawyer, a HistoryMajor, and while it would still use the D&D ruleset and be set in Forgotten Realms, itwould be a more grounded, low-level adventure, with a heavier focus on role-playing.
Oh, fun role play, I like it I like to roleplay.
Not that roleplaying.
Although, maybe, all in all game was neverreleased.
The Black Hound was set to take place in theForgotten Realms continent of Faerûn.
It would have been set in the Dalelands andallowed players to travel mostly in the area of Archendale.
Although none of the characters from the previousBaldur's Gate games would have returned, the cast would have been completely original aswell as the story, but some characters from the Icewind Dale series would be included.
The plot of the game revolved around evilcleric May Farrow and her gang of raiders who have spent weeks tracking down the BlackHound, the physical manifestation of May's guilt for unleashing a great evil.
During a game, you as a player learn the taleof a widowed farmer's wife, taking great guilt in her husband's death as for some reasonshe believed that it is her fault.
This is the place where you all must trulyrealize that this is a fantasy game, nothing common with reality, because in real lifeit’s never a womens fault.
Anyway, widow tries to resurrect her husbandand succeeds but finds him to be an abomination.
And not in that common term, where he resurrectsand then starts drinking and beating her again.
He becomes a real monster.
She cannot stop him, despite him being veryweak at the time.
Through the course of the game, the farmeris growing stronger and stronger off the guilt absorbed by the Black Hound through the player.
You, the player, by that time, learn thatthis wife is previously mentioned evil cleric May Farrow, who believes killing the Houndwould be a way to stop the farmer.
The hound however latched its soul onto youand use you as a tunnel to channel guilt to the farmer and as his guide to the world.
That is actually really original, not clichestory, and it deeply reminds me of one quest of the first Witcher game, where the hellhound, referred to also as the Beast assumes the form of a terrifying hound and tirelesslystalks its victims once it finds their trail.
Peasants believed that the hellhound embodiesthe vengeance, and it is sent to punish humans for their wickedness.
See, one hound embodies the vengeance otherthe is the manifestation of guilt.
I know it’s not the same, but it is really cool similarconcept.
The Black Hound game was cancelled in 2003when Interplay lost the rights to the Baldur’s Gate brand and could not release a D&D RPGanymore.
Suffering from financial issues, Interplayclosed the Black Isle Studios shortly after.
And rumor is that the game was already 80%complete.
And that is so weird, because all we haveis this artwork and zero real graphics.
Ayway, the artwork of The Black Hound looksreally good, I hope you’re enjoying it.
However, that was not the end of The BlackHound.
Black Isle Studios` former manager, FeargusUrquhart, gathered a few key developers, such as Josh Sawyer, Chris Avellone and three othersand founded a new studio: Obsidian Entertainment.
Yes the one which created Knights of the OldRepublic 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Pillars of Eternity and last year’s hit The OuterWorlds.
In 2007 Josh Sawyer using Neverwinter Nights2 module creation tool began to work on a personal project: a Baldur’s Gate III: TheBlack Hound module.
He posted about the project for a few years, sharing screenshots and discussing his views on mechanics such a damage resistance, featsand classes, but the module was never finished.
Despite that people liked the idea of Baldur’sGate with Neverwinter graphics.
Although, Baldur’s Gate 3 was never finishedas a module of Neverwinter Nights 2, first Baldur’s Gate was completely rehauled byfans.
Look at this.
This is free if you have Neverwinter Nights2.
Just install and play, I will put a link ofthis mod into description.
And when you finish that, you can find IcewindDale campaign laying nearby.
All you need is Neverwinter Nights 2 installed.
Anyway, last attempt at resurrecting the TheBlack Hound occured in 2008, when Obsidian pitched Baldur’s Gate III to Atari, holderof the Dungeons & Dragons license at the time.
Negotiations went far and designers workedfor months on the project, but Atari was suffering financially, didn’t have the money requiredand the game was abandoned again.
That was the last time.
Now we all wait for Baldur’s Gate 3 beingmade by Larian Studios.
20 years later game is finally happening.
Although it will be a totally different game.
All that’s left of the Black Hound is aname of the inn inside Pillars of Eternity game.
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Have nice day and I’ll see you next time.