I just bought BG1 + BG2, and wanted to start BG1. I came here hoping for a simple guide for what 'a regular newbie', should install, but was quite confused over all opinions on which mods are the "right" ones and all warnings about "install this but not this" etc.
MY GOALS: modernize the UI and fix bugs, but not add fan-based content, except for "unfinished business", i.e., fan-fixed content that was planned to be included and was still present in the game files (but not enabled, probably because it was not finished for release.) Specifically, I did not want the mod that joins BG1 + BG2 into one huge game, since I fear that will be confusing for someone who have never finished BG1.
Here is what I came up with. (Mod wizards feel free to tell me if I did something wrong)
=== BG1 ===
1. Install GOG BG1 and BG2 as usual. They will be installed under Program Files/GOG (Or Program Files x86 if you have 64 bit Windows).
2. Install EasyTutu from here: http://www.usoutpost31.com/easytutu/ , the file you want is: EasyTutu_ToB.exe (GOG includes the Throne of Bhaal expansion with BG2). This creates a new directory, independent of your BG1 and BG2 install that runs BG1 using the BG2 engine. This install includes the most important bugfixes for BG1 (the "Baldurdash" package.)
3. From the same page, download and install the 'Degreenifier' fix, so you can use 3D acceleration without getting green water. The file you want is: EasyTutuDegreenifier-v4.exe
4. Get and install the widescreen mod here: http://www.gibberlings3.net/widescreen/ . The file you want is: widescreen-v2.60.exe. Make sure to enter the resolution of your screen when asked for "x" and "y".
5. Somewhat optional: Get and install the unfinished business pack from here: http://www.pocketplane.net/bg1ub . The file you want is: BG1UB_v12.exe . This re-enables content not in the game, but present in the game files (unfinished), that fans have recovered and "fixed". There are also some fixes included in this.
6. Optional: you can now uninstall your GOG BG1 install to save disk space. "Baldur's Gate Tutu" is the version of BG1 you will play, and it has its own entry under 'uninstall programs' in your control panel. Don't uninstall your GOG BG2 install, though.
This order of mods seems to work for me.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
- There is a known issue when entering the city of Beregost. Commit this city name to memory now! And then be sure to follow the instructions under 'Known issues' on http://www.usoutpost31.com/easytutu/ when you encounter this city.
- If you already have started a game in BG1 you will need to restart. Also, if you have started a game after doing some of the mods listed here, but before the widescreen mod, you probably need to restart as well. (When I did it, the graphics was completely black outside my characters viewing distance in my old save game, just starting a new game fixed that.)
- With this game and others for Win 7 (possibly also Vista): if the game flickers and minimizes itself when you start it, right click on the desktop icon, chose select properties, go to the tab "compability" and check the boxes "Disable visual themes" and "Disable desktop composition". This makes Win 7 turn off some graphic gimicks while the game is running, and re-enable them when the game ends.
- If you plan to play at high resolutions, the font will be too small. Download the mod from here: http://www.shsforums.net/topic/38626-bigger-fonts-for-bgiitob-and-other-ie-games/ . The file you want is: FontMod_v2.1.zip, unzip and copy the files to the *override* subdirectory in your BGTutu directory.
=== BG2 ===
Mostly inspired by GoJays2025's guide, this is what I opted for:
1. Get and install the BG2 fixpack here: http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2fixpack/ , the file you want is: bg2_fixpack-v9.exe. This installs various "must have" fixes. Here it gets a bit trycky, because it also include some "BETA Core fixes", which I advice saying "NO" to if you are a BG newbie. Furthermore there are a number of additions marked as "Optional But Cool." Trying to adhere as closely as possible to my 'GOAL' above (no fan-added extras, just bugfixes and UI updates) my recommendation is:
- Party Gets XP for Sending Keldorn to Reconcile With Maria: No
- Improved Spell Animations: Yes
- Cromwell's Forging Actually Takes a Day: No
- Mixed-Use Dagger Fixes: No
- Ghreyfain's Holy Symbol Fixes: No
- Giants Receive Penalties When Attacking Halflings, Dwarves, and Gnomes: No
- Remove Dual-Classing Restriction from Archers and Stalkers: No
- Remove Second Attribute Bonus for Evil Path in Wrath Hell Trial: Yes
- Corrected Summoned Demon Behavior: No
- Additional Script Fixes: Yes
- Bard Song Fixes: Yes
- Wizard Slayers Cause Miscast Magic on Ranged Attacks: No
- Additional Alignment Fixes: Yes
- Change Free Action to Protect Against Stun: No
2. Download and install unfinished business from here: http://www.pocketplane.net/ub . The file you want is: UnfinishedBusiness-v19.zip. You can install all the options without harm. However, I suggest saying no to:
- Yoshimo's Original Portrait
- Anomen's Original Portrait
- NPC Portrait Restorations,
since, as I understand it, these do not really restore things that were left out, but reverts decisions the designers did to change these portraits before the game was launched.
3. Use the same installer for the widescreen patch as for BG1. Again, you get it from here: http://www.gibberlings3.net/widescreen/ . The file you want is: windescreen-v2.60.exe. Make sure to enter the resolution of your screen when asked for "x" and "y".
As for BG1: If you plan to play at high resolutions, the font will be too small. Download the mod from here: http://www.shsforums.net/topic/38626-bigger-fonts-for-bgiitob-and-other-ie-games/ . The file you want is: FontMod_v2.1.zip, unzip and copy the files to the *override* subdirectory in your BG2 GOG Install directory.
A comment: I opted NOT installing the BG2 Tweak Pack from here: http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2tweaks/ . Because, while there are a few options in it that looks somewhat useful, most things are rather intricate rule changes etc. that will likely confuse a BG beginner who tries to learn the game, and expects what the manual says to be true, etc.
Good luck and happy playing!