Baldur’s Gate 2 holds a place in my heart as my favorite game. It had a lot going for it, and that little company Bioware that made it you may have heard of before. However, I think a lot of the success and nostalgia come from the excellent voice acting, this being one of the earlier games to really do this well.
Meaning that the driving force behind it, the best voice acting, the plot, all comes back to the villain, Jon Irenicus. He is a rare sort of character in a fantasy world: an evil elf. Doesn’t happen very often; Elves are usually various shades of good, or else maybe there are Dark Elves who are evil. But Jon Irenicus gets to put all the years of experience learning how to be a mage into action as an evil one, and it is scary.
I Haven’t The Time For This
When you start the game, you wake up to find yourself in a cell, being tortured. But not really asked anything – it’s nothing you know. No, it’s about what you are, and what might be done with it. Your character in the games is a half-god, so think Hercules and other Greek characters. And Jon Irenicus, the evil elf, is experimenting on you.
Luckily, an army attacks, and you are able to escape. Only to find Jon Irenicus, not only unharmed, but with enough power to take out waves of mages showing up to stop him. That’s the YouTube clip up above.
He allows himself to be arrested, but only if he can take your lifelong friend Imoen with him. In magical prison, he proceeds to break out, take over, and experiment on Imoen. He kills countless people, as you are the child of the god of Death, Bhaal, and it is through death that Irenicus hopes to unlock your power – and take it for his own.
I Cannot be Caged. I Cannot be Controlled.
So, an evil elf, who wants to steal your soul. Yes, the plot for Jon Irenicus, and Baldur’s Gate 2 in general, was a lot of fun, and had you really wanting to fight back. Friends to save. Betrayal when you need friends the most.
But the writing is just so much fun too, and the delivery. If it were all text, it would not be the same – it takes David Warner’s delivery to really seal the deal and make the game.
If you, like me, are feeling nostalgic for Jon Irenicus, I found this YouTube video clipping together it seems like all of Jon Irenicus’ dialog from the game. Ah, the joys of YouTube, I guess.
It’s also pretty excellent to finally get through it all and defeat Jon Irenicus – he ends up in Hell, surrounded by demons. And his magic doesn’t work. Though the graphics are a bit old on the cutscene, it’s still a great ending, because really, he had to be defeated that deeply. Because he was just so powerful, and just so evil.