Florette

Baldur's Gate 2: Continuing Rant on Solafein and Bad Writing

Here it is. I have loose notes in my head that need sorting and researching and rewriting to make it wittier but for now, this'll do.

Few things: Sola is Neutral - Yes, I know he worships Lady Silverhair who is chaotic good by default. However, Sola is neutral because he is 'evil friendly' as in, if your team goes down the super dark end, he won't throw a fit and leave; he'll just suck it up and take it like a man. Mainly this is because he is 'bound' to the PC; it's like a contract you sign where if you take him out of the Underdark, you gotta handle the responsibility of having him in your team. He'll try very hard to not get in your way, but Sola distinctly feels the pressure of /needing/ you moreso than Nalia or Aerie (and he hates it ten times more than they do too).

This is why if you do something evil, he won't make a fuss about it, even if his character dislikes it. This agreement by silence is what makes him neutral... at least in my mind.

Bisexual is fine; personally I think drow society pratically encourages homosexuality so I can't imagine Solafein being uncomfortable about it. There are still male/female PC response though.

He can stay the fighter/mage combo; it's the usual class type for a male drow of high standing anyway.

Equipment; he comes with the standard drow gear which will all turn to ash in the daylight. Hmm, there should be a banter event for that... Longsword specialisation is fine. He doesn't have 'special gear' because sentiment is for fools (and surface dwellers).

Now, I liked the fact that Weidu's Sola was bookish; I really did. I'm going to pull that out as a character quirk, but his character is not going to revolve around it. One thing I really want to change is the way you break the news to him in his quarters and I want to use his love of reading as a way to potentially corner him.

--

The male fighter society is empty; interact with the table in the middle of the room. Small description pops up:

'Your eyes are drawn to a slim binding partially hidden beneath the press of tomes on tactics.'

'You recognise the cover, having seen it sitting on the desk of Gorion back at Candlekeep; 'The Lady of Song and Dance.' The pages are in pristine condition, although the spine shows some signs of wear.'

Sola (spawn): Veldrin?! What are you doing here? **
(same lines as before, with the extra option to confront him about the book)

PC: What's this book you have here?
Sola: Oh, just some surface drivel I confiscated on one of our raids. It's all heresy but the pages make for good tinder. Take it if you want.

PC: You know this is highly suspicious.
Sola: So you'll be careful that no one else makes the same mistake about you, yes.

PC: I could go to Phaere about this.
Sola: She hates me well enough that your suspicions will do little more other than fan the already roaring bonfire.

Sola: Why are you here?

--

When he pops up again to give you the eggs, you get an extra dialogue option.

PC:
Are you sure you won't come with us?

Sola:
I... do not know. Is there room for one such as me? The hate the drow bear for your ilk is well reciprocated in kind, I hear.

PC:
1) Perhaps you are right...
2) You don't belong here, no more than I do.
3) How can your worship Eilistraee if you've never seen her moon?

Sola:
I don't know. If you're truly willing to take me with you, then fine. I shall await you outside the city gate. Strength to you, Veldrin. Ah, I mean CHARNAME.

DIMENSIONDOOROUT!

--

Outside the city when you've successfully escaped.

Sola:
Greetings, CHARNAME.

PC:
1) We must be leaving this place. Is your mind made up?
2) I cannot bring you to the surface, Solafein. It would not be a kindness and will only bear grief in the end.

Sola:
1) Yes... I will never have this chance again. I will go with you and perhaps find my peace under Eilistraee's sky.
2) Yes... I have had the same thought as well. I will find my own way in the Underdark. There are other of Eilistraee's flock here, I will find them.

Sola:
1) It must be a glorious thing. Let us go without delay.
2) Perhaps one day we shall meet again, on the surface. Farewell, CHARNAME.

--

It is important to note that you only get this one chance; he won't be meeting you on the surface. You /have/ to take him past elven customs:

Elf in Tunnel:
Halt, stranger! You do not have the appearance of the despised dark elves but one of their kind walks in your midst. Declare yourselves to (NameIForgot) immediately if you wish to present no hostilities!

Sola:
Argh! The light!

PC:
1) Are you alright?
2) Toughen up! I need you ready!

Sola:
1) My eyes... it's... it's too bright. I...
2) Yes... I...

Sola:
I'll be fine.



Elf at Tunnel Exit:
Die, drow!

PC:
1) Wait!
2) Stop!
3) What the Hells!?
- 4) (do nothing) **as much as I want an option where Sola gets ganked because you stood by, it probably won't work. Railroading, sorry!**

Elf:
Be silent, RACE! You walk in the company of our enemy and we tolerate no such brook in conduct in times of peace, let alone in times of war!

PC:
1) Let him go and we will surrender peacefully!
2) He is not your enemy, he has done nothing!
3) He is MY prisoner and you will not execute him out of hand without MY permission! Leave off immediately!
4) Lower that spear or you will all die where you stand!


(NameIForgot): What is going on here?

(NameIForgot): A drow. Kill him. Subdue the others for questioning.

PC:
1) NO!
2) That's IT, you've asked for it!

(NameIForgot): You wish to fight? Bah, I do not have time for this... fine, surrender yourselves and Elhan can dirty his hands on this one. Place one foot out of turn and you will be killed... We are legion, I assure you.



Sola: I... should have seen this coming. This confrontation won't be easy to avoid and for that I am sorry, CHARNAME.

PC:
1) It's fine, we'll manage somehow... we always have before.
2) Don't take it so harshly, it's not your fault.
3) Damn right you should be sorry... We are wasting time here!
4) Tell me, how comfortable are you with slaughtering your surface kin?

Elhan: **standard interrogation**

Towards the end, a little extra is added:

Elhan: And, as for your companion...

PC:
1) Solafein is a friend.
2) Solafein is harmless.
3) Solafein is none of your bloody business.

Elhan: Does he speak for himself?

Sola: I am not here to cause you trouble. Release us and if I can aid you, I shall.

Elhan: Forgive me if I find that hard to believe of a drow.

Sola: No doubt. But my Lady of the Silverhair demands that graciousness and kindness guide us in all our actions, and good deeds are rewarded in kind. I am not the evil that you fear.

Elf mage 1: Sincere...

Elf mage 2: I concur...

Elf mage 3: For a drow.

PC:
1) Are you still here?
2) Didn't I tell you guys to knock it off?
3) Are you convinced? Can we go now?

Elhan: This will be on your head, CHARNAME. Take your companions and go; find the Lanthorn swiftly.


Leaving the area bumps into Drizzt and Friends:
-If you've chosen the 'good' path and not attacked him, Sola'll pipe up AFTER you've finished talking as they're about to leave.
Sola: Wait!
Sola: You... you are a drow, in the company of surfacers who do not shun you.
Sola: Ussta kaas zhah Solafein d'... Ust Narad. Vel'bol zhah dosst?
Drizzt: Usstan tlun Drizzt Do'Urden. Ele ph'dos ghil? Vel'klar xun dos z'hin?
Sola: Zhaun naut... vel'klar l'drathir morfethen uns'aa.
Drizzt: Ah... Daewl dos ap'zen. L'revis zhah dubo jhal Usstan tlun ghil.
Drizzt: Tlu kyone.
Sola: Kyorl!
Sola: Xun dos zhaun vel'klar nind dro?
Drizzt: Hmm... Waterdeep. So I have heard. Good luck, my friend.
Sola: Bel'la dos lu'aluve.
(-Drizzt and friends leave)
Sola: Forgive my presumption for interrupting. I thank you for waiting. Let us go?

Basically the conversation is Sola and Drizz introducing themselves. Drizzt asks why is Sola here and where is he going. Sola says he doesn't know, but he goes where the moon leads him (HINTHINT). Drizzt is like ICWATUDIDTHAR the road is a hard one but as he stand there, it can be done. He's about to go, and Sola asks him to wait and to ask where his 'people' are. Drizzt tells him Waterdeep. Sola says thanks and farewell.

If you attack Drizzt and company, Sola won't complain about it like Jaheira/Keldorn; he'll fight em obediently. When the battle is done however:

Sola: Who was this drow? He walked in the company of surface dwellers... and his blade is of impressive make. It seems... familiar.

PC:
1. Hey, that's party loot, that.
2. Just another drow. Another dead drow.
3. He was called Drizzt Do'Urden and was something of a hero on the Dragon Coast... heh, was.

Sola:
1. Of course; it is yours. -END
2. 3. I... see. -END



If you boot him out of party:

Sola:
... Shall I go?

PC:
1) No, stay. You'll get yourself killed otherwise.
2) For a while anyway.

Sola:
Very well, I will await you at the entrance to the Underdark... perhaps Elhan will not mind my presence there so much... CHARNAME, I... no, never mind. Return swiftly.

It's important to note that if you leave him alone for 3 days, he will vanish permanently. Sort of like how romances get broken if you kick em out of party for too long, only in Sola's case, he is burned at the stake. Whatever gear he was carrying should be dropped. I'm willing to pull /mega/ guilt trips on the PC if they ditch him. You brought him, you take care of him!

And if you invite him back:

Sola:
I am... glad you have returned.

Sola:
Shall we continue as before?

PC:
1) Yes, come along.
2) Wait here a bit longer.

Sola:
1) Thank you. Elhan has developed quite the crease in his brow from all his frowning.
2) If you insist, CHARNAME...

--

I'm going to refrain from calling them 'LoveTalks' because that implies something exterior.

#T1: Hello, I'm your adopted puppy for this playthrough.
-Occurs after you give the eggs to Aldanon and she breaks the illusion.
Sola: And so... you are CHARNAME.
PC:
1. Sorry to disappoint.
2. I'm better this way, I think you'll agree.
3. (female only) Keep your opinions to yourself, male. I may be a surfacer but I'll tolerate none of your cheek.
4. Tell me something I don't know?
Sola:
1. On the contrary, I think I prefer you this way. You are yourself, at last.
2. I already do.
3. I see you have learnt a thing or two from your time spent in Ust Narad. Very well.
4. Something you don't know? That would be difficult of me to say, since I know nothing about you.
PC:
1.2 a)It was hard to stay in character. I did not enjoy the things I had to do.
1.2 b)I enjoyed it. Being a drow is so morally liberating.
1.2 c) I am merely glad that it is over with. I miss the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.
3. a) I think you'll find I am much harsher than Phaere when it comes to absolute obedience. Learn your place and we shall get along fine.
3. b) Let's just get out of here.
3. c) I am just teasing! Or do you prefer your women obnoxious and annoying?
4. a) Don't be so serious! It's just an expression.
4. b) Tell me something about you.
4. c) Tell me something about the Underdark.
4. d) Make something up.
4. e) I occasionally loose control of myself, reverting into a demonic hell beast known as the Slayer, an avatar of Bhaal, the dead god of murder, who was my father. Oh and I've had my soul drained from me by an evil magician called Jon Irenicus.
4. f) And with any luck, it'll stay that way.
Sola:
1.2 a) I did not think you were particularly good at it either. You are too... kind for the Underdark, CHARNAME.
1.2 b) You were a particularly convincing actor to my mind.
1.2 c) I... am looking forward to it.
3. a) b) 4. f) As you say. -END
3. c) I prefer my women at arm's length. But we have wasted enough time with my prattle, let us go. -END
4. a) Is this one of those situations where the sarcasm is returned, only to be completely missed by both parties?
4. b) I am arachnophobic.
4. c) Umber Hulks are actually rather talented at the polka.
4. d) Vampiric illithid use a hollow, reed-like implement to suck brain fluid straight from the skull. They cannot survive without it.
4. e) ... You jest?
Sola:
1.2 a) b) c) But it is presumptuous of me to make any judgement call about you. After all, I do not know CHARNAME, I only knew Veldrin.
PC: 4. e) (see above) I occasionally loose control of myself, reverting into a demonic hell beast known as the Slayer, an avatar of Bhaal, the dead god of murder, who was my father. Oh and I've had my soul drained from me by an evil magician called Jon Irenicus.
PC: 4. f) (see above) And with any luck, it'll stay that way.
PC:
4. a) d) i) Very funny, Solafein.
4. a) d) ii) Your deadpan humour must something of a sure hit amongst the ladies.
4. b) c) i) Really?
4. b) c) ii) You can't be serious.
4. e) i) Why? Are you having second thoughts?
4. e) ii) No... but don't let it bother you. I very rarely kill anyone in one of my fits of madness.
4. e) iii) Unfortunately I'm not.
Sola:
4. b) c) No.
4. b) c) I'm not.
4. e) ... It seems there is much that I do not understand; but we have time now, if you are willing.
Sola:
4. (He smiles wanly) Shall we go? -END


#T2: Hold me I'm scared.
- Short, simple, merely points out the fact that he's unusually quiet/reflective. He's not going to start pouring out his life story for you at this point, however.
Sola: Yes?
PC:
1. Are you alright?
2. You're awfully quiet.
3. Stop moping and keep up; we've got places to go, people to kill.
Sola:
1. I am fine, you need not concern yourself for my sake.
2. That is because I have nothing to say.
3. Of course.
Sola: Shall we go on then? -END


#T3: May cause blindness
-scripting; fires at sunset/sunrise
Sola: It's-
Sola: It's beautiful.
PC:
1. What is?
2. We don't have time for this.
Sola:
1. The sun. And to think this happens every day?
2. You are right. Let's go. -END
Sola:
1. Your world is so bright... You live surrounded by all this beauty and color. Do you become dumb to it after a while? Does it pass you by?
PC:
1. I never really thought about it.
2. I stop to smell the roses whenever I can.
3. Yes, and speaking of which...
Sola:
1. 2. ** Flows onto big arse discussion about Underdark which I will get around to**
3. You are right. Let's go.-END

**my notes for reminders**
Underdark chat:
1. Beauty
2. Growing up
3. Regret (leaving?)

Phaere chat:
1. Origins (how did they meet?)
2. Love (did he love her)
3. Regret (Phaere's subtle sorrow and her possession of the cloak)
4. [Male only] If they slept with Phaere
5. [Female only] Women; drow and surfacer

Ellistraee chat:
1. Finding faith
2. Guidance
3. Good and evil - Bhaal's legacy
4. Mortality
5. Death

Candlekeep chat:
1. It's all about YOU, baby.

Athkala chat:
1. Prejudice
2. Caution
3. Future

Bodhi/Irenicus:
1. Fear
2. Death and undeath
3. Hate

Attraction (Will fire if relationship is high enough and about to rest):
1. Sola
2. PC
-2a. male PC
-2b. female PC
3. PC's SO

Love chat (Only fires after Bodhi's Abduction - See below under Confession):
1. PC
2. Sola
3. Optional: PC's SO (may lead to:
4. MASSIVE SULK)

Attraction v2 (Will not fire if PC has an SO)
1. Let's talk about sex, baby, let's talk about you and me.

Love Revisted (Fires during the elf city):
1. Uncertainty and obligations -SOA END
- He may leave here.

Obviously some of these are pretty big and will be split into 2 or 3 chats.

Random Small Events (one or two lines):
Entering Athkala for the first time:
i) I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Talking to the elf-hater
i) Cast friendship
-i) Cast friendship without a magic license... ZOMGRUNFERIT!

Lathander's Temple:
i) Big statue observation...

Promenade (random timer):
i) He's watching the children around the circus tent

Beggars in the slums:
i) Scoffing if you give them money

Courtesans at the Bridge/Doxies at the Docks:
i) Duck behind PC

Entering Stronghold for the first time:
i) Sniffing out your library/bookshelves
ii) Slightly different depending on PC's class. Mage will have mage related dialogue, fighter, paladin, thief, ranger etc etc (Bard is same with playhouse event)

Entering Playhouse:
i) Elistraee /is/ a song and dance kind of lady... Go ahead, be critical. Shit rolls off him, yo. (Actually he's quite sensitive, please don't be mean!)

Random Inn Rest Event:
i) Bad dreams/Bhaal's legacy. Sola's all into YOU, babe.

Outdoor event:
i) Sunburn, hay fever...
ii) Night time infra-red.

Dungeon:
i) I'll think of something.

EVENTS: (Storyline/boss fight triggered events. Some more involved than others)

Bodhi Abduction:
-If you are boning him, then he'll get kidnapped.
i) Confronting Bodhi
ii) Resurrection
iii) Confession (Note you'll be able to make out with him before he says he loves you - I believe Viconia is the same in this regard. Sex means little, but love means more. Unlike Viconia, however, Sola is not going to lash at out the PC if he falls in love.**more of my analysis on this later**)
-If Sola is not the SO insert HUGE chain of dialogue - the drama plays out better if Sola is not the SO imo;
i) when SO gets kidnapped
ii) after SO's death
iii) and resurrection
iv) Confession (Yes, he'll tell you he loves you, regardless! The only difference is how the PC gets there and what will the PC do about it. And yes, he'll do it even if you're a guy! - although how he says it will be different **more later**)

My problem with this is that I think the confession needs to occur quite late in the game, but it needs to be flexible for the gameplay. I suspect I'd have to let it slide, it's just annoying.

Mainly I want it to be more focused on the PC and more focused on the emotional state where you get attached to a character for whatever reason, and not because he is overpowered (which ruins the game anyway) - kinda like how people take Minsc everywhere, even though he has no extra story or much dialogue and isn't even that great.

I also want plenty of options to be mean as shit to Solafein; because the fact that he hates it but still needs you is one of the major 'flaws' of his character.

The whole idea is that he gets more and more depressed if you don't love him AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO. If he leaves (as he so badly might want to) he'll die, that kind of thing. Now if you do love him, you'll loose a party member since your SO will leave.

You can dodge this whole thing by not having a SO, yes... but considering you run through the Underdark quite late in game, that's quite unlikely (or incredibly dedicated).

I want to force a difficult choice on the player. Gaming very rarely addresses emotional and moral issues that aren't black and white or have a obvious solution. Or sometimes the kindest thing you can do is the hardest choice to make (such as not taking him out of the Underdark)

This post is too long. More later.