Released in September 2000, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn takes place shortly after the events of Baldur's Gate. An unknown captor is experimenting on the protagonist, a child of the dead god Bhaal. After escaping, he must locate the whereabouts of his captor, Irenicus, and discover the true nature of his divinity.
Best time: 0:23:09 by Eli 'Smilge' Chase on 2010-01-19, done in 26 segments.
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The following comments are a very, very detailed explanation of everything seen in the speedrun.
Don't feel obligated to read these. I think 90% of people will be fine just sitting back and enjoying the show.
If you're curious about how something works, you should probably read on.
This run is split into 26 segments. When I end a segment, you'll see one frame of the "Save" screen and one frame of the "Load" screen. All other loading/save screens are edited out to make timing easier and the video more fluid.
My character is a Mage because spellcasting is so important for the speedrun. Also, the mage is the only class to be able to get the spell "Polymorph Self" at the start of the game, which is very useful. My mage specialized for the extra spell slot. Transmutation was chosen as his specialty because my character wouldn't need to cast any spells from the opposing school, Abjuration.
My character reduced his strength to 3 to be able to become encumbered at will. There is a glitch in which an encumbered player can have dialog with anyone in sight without the need to walk up to them. This was used to save a little bit of time. Thanks to Beenman500 for discovering this trick.
My character's charisma had to be 14 or more to convince Desharik the Pirate Lord to let the party into Spellhold.
The other attributes (Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence and Constitution) have no effect on the speedrun.
Many of the spells chosen during character creation are just filler. The only spells used in the run are:
This spell is cast once. It allows my character to exit through a door that is blocked by enemies in The Underdark.
This spell is cast once. It helps my character survive when he runs to the surface from The Underdark.
This spell is cast four times. It is used to keep enemies from attacking a party member.
This spell is cast twice. The first time it is cast in Irenicus's dungeon. Some traps that normally would kill my character destroyed an image instead. The second use of the spell is in Underdark. It absorbed some hits while my character fled to the surface.
This spell is cast three times. Clairvoyance reveals the entire map, which is very useful for multi-tasking. It allowed me to order my party to travel long distances while I focused my attention elsewhere (like memorizing spells). It is cast in Waukeen's Promenade, the Graveyard District, and the Underdark Exit.
Haste is cast thirteen times. Haste doubles a character's movement speed, and is vital in a speedrun. Imoen also has Haste, so she can cast it when the main character is busy. There are very few times in the speedrun that haste of some kind is not active.
*Melf's Minute Meteors
This spell is cast once. Its purpose is to allow the main character to kill a mephit portal. Thanks to DAMURDOC for this idea.
Lightning Bolt is cast twice. Once is it used to hit Adalon, the silver dragon in The Underdark, from very far away. When Adalon turns hostile, a door to the surface opens. The other time it is used by Imoen to damage herself enough to leave the party. This saved me the few seconds it would take to kick her out.
This spell is cast twice. Due to the way the game resolves collisions when polymorphing into a larger form, polymorphing can be exploited to teleport over doors and walls, which is the spell's sole purpose in this run.
This spell is cast twice. It is to protect me against attacks that might otherwise kill me.
Throne of Bhaal is installed for this speedrun. This results in some minor differences: - Some spells, such as Mirror Image, have different graphics. - The game does not pause when the map screen is open. Moving from the map screen to other menu screens (with the exception of the inventory) will not pause the game, unlike entering those same menu screens directly from the main game screen. - Bonus merchants, like the one in the adventure mart, are available. - Watcher's Keep is on the map.
After the cutscene finishes, Smilge starts heading towards Minsc to free him while Imoen heads to the key for Jaheira's cage. The Throne of Bhaal map glitch mentioned above is used to memorise the spells Smilge will need to cast later while he and Imoen continue walking in the background - this glitch will be used throughout the run whenever anyone needs to memorise spells or level up. Imoen gets the key and Smilge frees Minsc and Jaheira, who will be important for several time savers throughout the run. For now, they'll help me do the "Polymorph Teleport" trick.
Some shapechange abilities, such as Polymorph - Mustard Jelly, can turn a smaller character (natural form) into a bigger one (mustard jelly form). If a character shapechanges into larger form, the game will try to place this larger form where the character was. If the larger form will not fit, the game looks for the closest available spot - which may be on the other side of a door or wall.
With very careful positioning of party members and summoned monsters to fill up the space below Smilge, I can ensure that the closest empty space large enough for a mustard jelly is in the Mistress's room, so Smilge ends up there when he polymorphs. (Thanks to clone_rizzo for both the polymorph-teleport trick itself and this particular use of it.)
After teleporting, the party rests. This removes the Mustard Jelly form, which is much slower than natural form. Smilge casts Mirror Image to absorb some of the traps on the chest. When Smilge picks up the key, Imoen uses the portal. This brings the whole party to the second level of the dungeon.
Smilge accepts Yoshimo's offer join the party. Yoshimo is a very valuable character to have in this speedrun.
To unlock the far door, the Mephit Portals must die. They are completely immune to magic, so physical damage is the only way to go. Jaheira shapeshifts into a bear and mauls the lower two portals. Smilge casts Melf's Minute Meteors and kills the farthest portal. Yoshimo kills the third portal with his trusty Katana. Meanwhile, Imoen opens a chest and gets a couple potions and a gem, all of which are vital for the run.
When the Mephit Portals are dead, the door unlocks and Minsc heads towards the surface. On his way he uses Hide In Shadows to avoid a Shadow Thief assassin forcing him into dialogue. Minsc can be sent to the area exit alone because the exit isn't a normal area transition (which would require all the party to be nearby in order to leave); rather it's simply a trigger (which is set to show the area transition cursor when you mouse over it) that activates and teleports the party into Waukeen's Promenade once you've clicked on it and have any party member sufficiently nearby.
While Minsc is on his way, the party members get into specific positions that seem to affect the success rate of the cutscene skip ahead (the cutscene ahead is the one where Jon Irenicus is wrecking everyone's shit and the Cowled wizards take him and Imoen away).
The cutscene skip is extremely difficult to pull off, and it's even harder to make it work in a timely manner. The idea is that there's a split second between cutscene mode starting and the party being put in Waukeen's Promenade. If you can get someone to force you into dialog during the cutscene, it breaks you out of cutscene mode and you're free to move as you wish. This is achieved by kicking Imoen out of the party just before Waukeen's Promenade loads, so that she will speak to Smilge to ask him whether he really wants her to leave the group.
The trouble is that perfect timing isn't enough here; sometimes the skip works, and sometimes it doesn't, and we don't really know why. Our best guess is that it has something to do with the order in which the game engine decides to process the command it gives Imoen to speak to Smilge and the various scripting commands involved in teleporting the party to the Promenade and starting the cutscene there, all of which are submitted on the same frame - but we don't know the precise engine mechanics behind it. This cutscene skip is the only glitch in the run we still don't fully understand.
At any rate, when everything goes right and Imoen asks if she should leave the party at the exact right moment, the party will appear in Waukeen's Promenade with full control before the cutscene has started. If you wait a moment, the characters (Shadow Thieves, Jon Irenicus, etc.) appear and begin acting out the cutscene. If you move, the characters won't appear. As a bonus, Imoen will stay in your party outside of the dungeon if you prevent the cutscene from occurring. Big thanks to clone_rizzo for discovering this, even though it was a giant pain to pull off.
The City of Amn:
A big part of this game, when played normally, is acquiring enough coin to buy help from either Bodhi or the Shadow Thieves. However, this is one of the easiest tasks in a speedrun thanks to a glitch.
You may have noticed when you play that drinking a potion from the inventory screen doesn't drink the potion immediately. Instead, it gives an order to "use" whatever is in that inventory slot. If you unpause by leaving the inventory screen, you will drink the potion. If, however, you move something else into the spot where the potion was before unpausing, the game will "use" this new item.
In this case, the item I swap with the potion is a gem. The game "uses" the gem, and it depletes one charge. Because gems are not meant to be consumable, like other stackable items (potions, scrolls and ammo) are, the game does not know that it should delete the stack once it is reduced to 0 items, so I am left with a stack of 0 gems. If I again 'use' the stack of 0 gems, it will not become -1 gems since counts for stacked items are stored in unsigned 16 bit integers. In unsigned integer arithmetic, a value of -1 cycles around to the maximum value that the 16 bit integer can hold, which is (2^16)-1 or 65535. Conversely, if I had 65535 gems and got one more, the stack would become 0. Thanks to clone_rizzo for this idea.
Smilge trades in the 65535 gems at the Adventure Mart for a bit over 2 million gold. This gold is used to buy things needed to complete the speedrun.
*Girdle of Hill Giant Strength
Smilge needs this item to be able to carry things without becoming encumbered.
*Ring of Air Control
This ring is used by Yoshimo to turn invisible at some points during the game.
*Rod of Resurrection
This item is vital. Party members are easy to carry around when they are dead. This item lets Smilge bring them back when they are needed.
*Scroll of Protection from Undead x 2
These scrolls are used in the fight against Bodhi.
Potion of Master Thievery x 2
These potions allow Imoen a greater chance of success in pickpocketing.
*Oil of Speed x 3
These potions are a great substitute for Haste when Haste is unavailable. Smilge uses one in The Underdark, and Minsc uses two at the Underdark Exit.
*Potion of Invisibility
This potion is used by Jaheira to avoid enemies in The Underdark.
*Robe of Vecna
This item is used by Smilge to lower his cast time for most spells to 0. Also, the armor class bonus helps keep him alive.
Though it is only wearable by warriors, its special ability (to summon a Simulacrum of the wearer) can be used via the potion swapping glitch by anyone holding the helm. This will be an important component of the strategy for Suldanesselar later in the run.
-From Lady Yuth:
*Scroll of Clairvoyance x 3
These scrolls are just like the spell, with one major difference: the scrolls work indoors. These scrolls are used to reveal the map in Bodhi's Lair, The Underdark, and the Tree of Life.
*Scroll of Monster Summoning I
This scroll is used by Yoshimo via the potion swap glitch in the Shadow Thief Basement. He uses the monsters to help himself Polymorph Teleport over two locked doors.
*Scroll of Limited Wish
This scroll is used several times. A Simulacrum casts it once in Amn to give Yoshimo the ability to Shapechange. Simulacrums use it twice more in Suldanessellar to skip cutscenes. Finally, it is used by Smilge to cast Wail of the Banshee on the two Fire Elementals guarding a parasite at the Tree of Life.
*Scroll of Symbol: Death
This scroll is used by Yoshimo via the potion swap glitch to kill himself and Aran Linvail in the Shadow Thief Basement.
When the shopping is done, the party heads towards the Slums to meet Gaelan Bayle. On the way to the district exit, Smilge memorizes some spells. Once there, Smilge rejects Gaelan's offer to side with the Shadow Thieves. The party then goes to the Graveyard and sides with Bodhi.
The party must complete three tasks for Bodhi before she will take them to Brynnlaw:
- Acquire a package from Mook in the Docks.
Mook appears at the Docks when you agree to work for Bodhi.
- "Escort" Palern Flynn from the top floor of the Shadow Thief Guildhall. If Palern Flynn dies, Bodhi makes a small mention of it but the quest is completed all the same.
Palern Flynn will not appear until you give Mook's package to Bodhi.
- Kill Aran Linvail.
Aran Linvail is always in his room in the Shadow Thief Basement.
The party goes to the Docks to steal Mook's package and kill Aran Linvail. After the package is given to Bodhi, Palern Flynn will be dealt with.
There are two doors in the Docks that lead directly to the Shadow Thief basement; the nearest, at the east of the docks, puts you at the north of the basement area. If you try to enter it, you get a message that the "door is barred from the other side." This message is caused by a trigger on top of the door. When the game wants to unlock the door, the top trigger is removed and the normal door can be clicked on. The glitch is that the top trigger doesn't line up perfectly with the door. So it is possible to click on the door without hitting the top trigger. This causes the party to enter the door with no issues. Credit to ExplodingCabbage for finding this trick.
While en route to the door, Smilge uses the potion swap glitch on Vhailor's Helm to summon a Simulacrum. Just drink a potion, move the helm to where the potion was, and exit the inventory screen. Voila! A Simulacrum is summoned! The helm does need to be charged for this to work (the number of charges won't wrap around past 0 to 65535 like the stack of gems did) so this doesn't let you get around the one use per day restriction, but one use per day turns out to be all that's needed. Thanks to ExplodingCabbage for finding this.
Simulacrums can use items from their quickslots without using the original item. Smilge's Simulacrum casts Limited Wish, and Yoshimo quickly talks to the genie before it enters into dialog with the Simulacrum. Yoshimo wishes to become anything he desires, which gives the same effects as the level 9 Shapechange spell.
Meanwhile, Imoen gets into a specific position nearby. The entrance to the Shadow Thief Basement is a party required transition, so Imoen is kicked from the party. Shortly after the rest of the party enters the Shadow Thief Basement, Imoen asks to rejoin the party while she's still in the Docks! This is achieved with yet another glitch called "Different Area Dialog."
Each area has X and Y coordinates. These coordinates are used by the game in various triggers. An example of a location is (500,1000), meaning 500 pixels to the right and 1000 pixels down from the top left corner of the map.
When Imoen is removed from the party, she attempts to maneuver to Smilge and ask him if she should really leave. If her coordinates are close to Smilge's coordinates, she will initiate dialog with him. The funny thing is that the game doesn't check to see if they are on the same map - it only checks to see if they are near each other's coordinates. Since Imoen was positioned in the Docks at the co-ordinates Smilge will appear at when the rest of the party enters Aran's lair, the game thinks they're standing next to each other and lets Imoen immediately talk to Smilge.
With this glitch, Imoen can be in the Docks and rejoin the party while Smilge is in the Shadow Thief Basement. Now Imoen can steal the package from Mook in the Docks at the same time that Smilge and the party kill Aran Linvail in the Shadow Thief Basement.
Yoshimo has the ability to shapechange because of the Limited Wish spell cast earlier. Yoshimo easily uses the Polymorph Teleport glitch to jump over walls and doors because Iron Golem form is so large. He is able to make one jump simply by changing into an Iron Golem in a narrow corridor. To prepare for the next jump, Yoshimo summons some monsters with the potion swap glitch and a scroll of Monster Summoning I.
When Yoshimo changes directly from a big creature (like an Iron Golem) into a smaller creature (like a Mind Flayer), the game will occasionally check for collisions as if the character were still the bigger creature. If there is a collision (i.e. an Iron Golem wouldn't fit here), the game teleports the character in the same way as if they had shapechanged into the large creature. This is why Yoshimo is teleported over the next door by Hiding in Shadows (this action causes a collision check). This "collision check" behavior ends when the character returns to his or her natural form. Thanks to DAMURDOC for discovering this.
Meanwhile, Imoen is quaffing her Master Thievery potions and heading down to Mook. She is able to get close to Mook without any trouble due to the Invisibility spell cast on her earlier. Imoen pickpockets Mook for the package, and runs away. The Shadow Thieves are unable to pierce her Stoneskin before she is able to escape.
Back in the Shadow Thief Basement, Yoshimo polymorph teleports over the final door to find Aran Linvail alone. His guards are created when someone steps on a certain floor trigger. The party was able to entirely avoid this trigger by entering the Shadow Thief Basement the way they did.
The Iron Golem's attack is a 4d10 weapon. Since Yoshimo is a thief, he gets a backstab multiplier when attacking from behind in stealth with any weapon type normally usable by thieves (which the game apparently thinks includes the fists of an Iron Golem). The result is crazy high damage. In this case Aran is hit for 72 damage hit after the 4x backstab multiplier. Yoshimo then uses the potion swap glitch to cast Symbol: Death (the backstab was to reduce Aran's hitpoints enough for him to be susceptible to the spell). This kills both Aran Linvail and Yoshimo.
Smilge shapeshifts into Mustard Jelly form then kicks out Imoen, the only surviving party member, and exits through the party required transition. Yoshimo, Minsc, and Jaheira are all dead because they are easier to manage when they are dead. When they are needed, they will be revived with the Rod of Resurrection.
Smilge shapeshifts from Mustard Jelly form to Wolf form, and Smilge's Simulacrum is ready to help Smilge jump over a wall to save some time. The polymorph teleport works here because of the "collision checking" glitch mentioned earlier. Smilge had gone from Mustard Jelly form (big) to Wolf form (small) without returning to natural form in between.
Smilge allows Imoen to rejoin the party while he resurrects Yoshimo. You may notice that Yoshimo no longer has the shapechange buff on his portrait, yet he can still shapechange.
Normally, when Shapechange wears off it removes the shapechanging abilities that had been added. But Shapechange did not wear off on its own. The buff went away when Yoshimo died. Since the buff was removed from death and did not expire, the abilities are never removed. Yoshimo will be able to shapechange at will for the remainder of the game.
Now the different area dialog glitch is used to keep Yoshimo in the Docks district (where he will be useful to "escort" Palern Flynn) while the rest of the party travels to Bodhi. Every time the party does an area transition, Yoshimo walks to the right position in the Docks to be able to rejoin the party.
Imoen is left at the entrance of the Graveyard District to wait until Smilge returns, much later in the game. While Smilge goes to give the package to Bodhi, Yoshimo gets ready to meet Palern Flynn when he spawns. Smilge turns in Mook's package to Bodhi and accepts the quest to "escort" Flynn. Yoshimo, who is already in position, hits Flynn once with his Iron Golem fists and kills him instantly. Smilge immediately turns in this escort quest (though you failed to keep Flynn alive, Bodhi remarks that she doesn't really care and the quest is completed). Finally, Smilge reports that Aran Linvail is dead and Bodhi sends the party on a ship to Brynnlaw.
Getting into Spellhold is easy enough. Smilge bribes the door guard for 300 gold (Smilge has got plenty, don't worry) and is able to convince Desharik to send the party to Spellhold. The ability to do this is dependent on the main character's charisma.
Yoshimo helps the party skip almost all of Spellhold by polymorph-teleporting over two locked doors. This allows the party to go through the Underdark portal without being captured by Irenicus. As a bonus, Yoshimo never leaves the party. This use of the polymorph-teleport glitch was dicovered by clone_rizzo.
The Underdark is one of the most dangerous areas in the game. Invisibility and Combat Protections are used liberally here.
The first thing to do is to get in the Silver Dragon's cave. A light gem is needed, so Jaheira quaffs an Invisibility Potion and makes her way to the Svirfneblin who holds the gem. Smilge heads towards the cave entrance and Yoshimo runs off to die (right after killing a VERY annoying kuo-toa). Once again, party members are easier to bring along as bodies.
Jaheira prevents the halfling from turning hostile with a glitch called "talk locking."
Any NPC with a blue circle (indicating they are neutral and can be talked to) can be shut down in this way. First, a party member is given the order to talk to the NPC. Then, before the party member is close enough to initiate dialog, the party member is given a different order. The NPC is then stuck for several rounds, waiting to be spoken to. The NPC will not make any action for several rounds.
After using this glitch, Jaheira turns into a bear and makes short (ha ha, get it?) work of the halfling. She picks up the gem and is removed from the party. The light gem, like all quest items, is transferred to the main character's inventory when the party member carrying it is removed. This allows Smilge to immediately enter the cave. Thanks to ExplodingCabbage for this idea.
There are many ways to deal with the Silver Dragon. One is to make her hostile. This fails her quest (since she will not talk to you anymore) and causes the door to the surface to open. (Credit to clone_rizzo for discovering this)
The fastest way to make her hostile is with a long distance lightning bolt to her silver arse. Minsc is positioned so that him, Adalon and Smilge are in line with each other, then Smilge casts the lightning bolt at him. The combat log shows that it hit Adalon, and shortly after that the quest log is updated with the failure. The door out of the Underdark is now open. (Thanks to ExplodingCabbage for the Lightning Bolt idea.) Smilge and Minsc delay leaving Adalon's lair until after the lightning bolt hits because if they leave earlier, the game will see that there are no party members in the area and unload it from memory before the bolt hits and the doors unlock.
Smilge quickly casts Invisibility on himself and heads towards the exit. Minsc, who was used to help aim the Lightning Bolt, is no longer needed. He finds one of the many dangers in The Underdark and once again is carried by Smilge as a corpse, awaiting his next use.
While Smilge is running toward the exit, he adjusts his spellbook and casts several Combat Protections.
The door to the surface is now open, but there are skeletons blocking the path to it. Smilge summons a familiar on the other side of the skeletons and quickly orders the familiar to exit through the door. The familiar exits, bringing Smilge with him. Unfortunately this is the only use for the familiar who dies shortly after
Thanks to ExplodingCabbage for coming up with this.
Normally, after exiting The Underdark and getting to the surface, the player is interrogated by Elhan and his elves. This can be skipped with clever use of the "talk locking" glitch.
Immediately after getting to the surface, Smilge is ordered to talk to a certain elf. This elf normally talks to you and starts the whole cutscene and interrogation. Instead of forcing Smilge into dialog, the elf waits to be spoken to because of the talk lock glitch. Smilge takes this opportunity to run off. Once out of sight, this elf will never bother Smilge again.
Smilge sets up the different area dialog glitch with Minsc here, at the Underdark Exit. The idea is to leave Minsc near Elhan so Bodhi's death can be reported quickly and without a round trip. Every time the party does an area transition, Minsc quickly walks to the right position to be able to rejoin the party. Since Smilge isn't around to cast haste on him, he uses the remaining two Oils of Speed to accomplish this.
On the way to Amn, Smilge is waylaid by Drizzt and friends. Drizzt is talk locked because it's faster than the dialog with him. I'm not sure why Catti Brie starts shooting Smilge with arrows.
Smilge resurrects Yoshimo and arrives in the Graveyard. Imoen is waiting here from before the party left for Spellhold, and Smilge gladly accepts her into the party once again. Bodhi's ambush is thwarted when Smilge rests before she can initiate dialog. Eight hours pass and it becomes day. The vampires meant to ambush Smilge are immediately turned to mist when they are exposed to the sunlight.
En route to Bodhi's lair, Smilge protects Yoshimo and himself from undead with the scrolls of Protection from Undead. These scrolls allow Smilge and Yoshimo to walk past nearly all undead, including Bodhi, without drawing their attention. Yoshimo opens a chest and gets a scroll of Finger of Death, which is useful later, and a wooden stake. Why vampires leave wooden stakes in their lair is a question I really don't know the answer to, but this stake is the only way to truly kill Bodhi. Thanks to niebezimienny for finding this chest.
Yoshimo uses polymorph-teleport to jump over the locked door here, and the party descends to Bodhi's chambers.
Yoshimo has the honor of killing Bodhi here. Using the Iron Golem's 4d10 weapon (his fists) and Yoshimo's own backstab multiplier, Yoshimo knocks Bodhi down to a single hit point in one attack. Bodhi cannot die in one hit; she needs to start the dialog "No! It's mine! This life is mine!" before her invulnerability is removed. While Yoshimo finishes her off with a second hit, Minsc goes to talk to Elhan. The general here is talk locked so he doesn't start a cutscene of his own. Elhan tries to do his inital conversation, with the Elven War Sages saying "Truth. Mmmm, yes, indeed..." and whatnot. However, since the cutscene didn't play, these Elven War Sages haven't been created yet. So when it is their turn to talk, the dialog just stops. When Minsc talks to Elhan again, it's as if the interrogation is over. Smilge finishes off Bodhi with her own wooden stake and Elhan teleports the whole party (even the ones still in the vampire lair!) to Suldanessellar.
Immediately upon entering Suldanessellar, the party is ordered to exit. Normally, a cutscene would play and the elves would cast some spells before running off, presumably to their deaths. Exiting the area causes the game to be stuck in a never-ending cutscene mode. This is useless. However, loading the autosave that was made by leaving the area causes the cutscene to never start and the party is free to do as they like. This saves the party several seconds of inactivity. (clone_rizzo originally found this kind of cutscene break was possible in another area with a cutscene soon after entry, and ExplodingCabbage found the same method could be used here.)
To progress past Suldanessellar, the player must obtain five items. Three items, the Sword, the Amulet, and the Goblet, are required to summon the Avatar of Rillifane. Summoning the Avatar is the only way to unlock the door blocking the way to the Tree of Life. The remaining two items, the Horn and the Harp, are needed to reveal the staircase down to the Tree of Life.
Several things happen at the start of this segment:
The party rests to remove a Silence spell that was affecting Smilge from a trap in Bodhi's Lair. This rest also allows Imoen to memorize a haste spell, which she uses on the party immediately.
Smilge uses the potion swap glitch with Vhailor's Helm to summon a Simulacrum.
Smilge's Simulacrum casts Limited Wish from the scroll in his quickslot.
Yoshimo shapechanges into natural form.
Smilge and Imoen are ordered to go to the Sword room in the middle of the city.
Minsc is ordered to go to the Amulet room.
Yoshimo heads towards the House of the Horn, where he shapeshifts into a troll. Troll form has a slightly faster movement speed than Yoshimo's natural form, which is slightly useful.
Yoshimo grabs the Horn and uses the Ring of Air Control to become invisible. This prevents the golems from smashing him into small cubes. Minsc arrives at the Amulet room and solves the puzzle box, giving him the Amulet. Smilge and Imoen arrive at the Sword room. This is a party required transition, so Yoshimo and Minsc are removed from the group. This also conveniently puts the quest items into Smilge's inventory. The area Minsc is in unloads when he is removed and he will never be seen again; Yoshimo, on the other hand, is outside in Suldanesslar, which as a hub-type area remains loaded, so he starts running towards Smilge to ask to rejoin the party.
Upon entering the Sword room, a cutscene begins to play. Remember the Simulacrum that was casting Limited wish? The spell finished and the Djinn appeared, and now it forces the Simulacrum into dialog. Dialog causes cutscene mode to end, restoring the interface and player control. Now that the party is able to move, Imoen pickpockets the Sword from the elf and the party exits the building without having to watch most of the cutscene. Thanks to ExplodingCabbage for figuring out this skip.
Once outside, the party needs to rest to recharge Vhailor's Helm. However, Yoshimo still has an outstanding order to talk to Smilge, and the game won't let you rest (or manually save) while a character has an outstanding order to speak to the party. To get around this, immediately after leaving the sword room, Imoen is ordered to re-enter it, in order to create an autosave outside in Suldanesselar. Reloading this autosave clears all outstanding orders (since the save doesn't contain that information). Yoshimo's script will still order him to talk to Smilge again almost immediately, but by hitting the rest hotkey the moment the autosave loads it's possible to get a rest in before this happens.
With Vhailor's Helm recharged, Smilge uses the potion swap glitch to cast another Simulacrum, who casts another Limited Wish. Imoen heads towards the Forest Clearing to get the Goblet from the Dragon. Smilge heads towards the Temple of Rillifane to summon the Avatar. Yoshimo meets Smilge along the way and rejoins the party. Imoen gets lucky with the scroll of Finger of Death taken from Bodhi's lair earlier, and the dragon is dead before he can even begin to speak.
Smilge and Yoshimo enter the Temple of Rillifane and Imoen rejoins the party with different area dialog. Smilge places the key items on the altar, then takes off his strength belt so he can talk to the Avatar with the encumbered talk glitch. This keeps Smilge out of harms way, since the enemies in this room are pretty nasty.
Again, the cutscene is interrupted by the Limited Wish spell cast by a Simulacrum. During cutscenes where the party is not visible, the game often moves the party someplace where they will not get in the way of the cutscene. In this case, the location was coordinates (0,0). The game moved the characters to the closest location they would fit, which ended up being on the bridge to the Forest Clearing.
The final item needed is the Harp. Imoen is able to grab the Harp while Smilge and Yoshimo go towards the now unlocked door to the Tree of Life. Imoen drops to one hitpoint by hitting herself with a Lightning Bolt ricochet. This is slightly faster than removing her from the party in the reform party menu. The reason Imoen starts screaming and leaves the group rather than dying is because she isn't the Imoen you rescue from Spellhold. She is still the Imoen from Irenicus's dungeon (remember?). This Imoen cannot die because she is supposed to be in the cutscene in Waukeen's Promenade, the one where she is taken away by the Cowled Wizards. That's why she says "I've got to get out of here!". "Here" refers to Irenicus's dungeon.
Yoshimo gets the nuts and uses the statues since his troll form is a bit faster than Smilge.
The Tree of Life:
The party must destroy three parasites (each guarded by two elementals) and then defeat Irenicus.
The party rests three times here. To recharge Vhailor's Helm, they needed to rest once. They rested twice more to make it night time; it is easier to Hide in Shadows at night, and the extra rest didn't cost much time. Smilge uses a scroll of Clairvoyance here to make multi-tasking much easier. Though the memorized spell only works outdoors (and the tree counts as indoors, go figure), the scroll works anywhere.
Yoshimo uses the potion swap glitch with Vhailor's Helm to summon a Simulacrum. Yoshimo and his Simulacrum both Shapechange into Iron Golems, and the two Iron Golems (once again exploiting the thief's backstab ability) crush the guardians and two of the three parasites. Smilge kills the guardians of the third parasite with the Limited Wish scroll. Smilge wishes "I wish all my enemies would die!" and it is done! (Thanks to DAMURDOC for the idea to kill the fire elementals with a Wail of the Banshee.) Just after destroying the final parasite, before the confrontation with Irenicus, Yoshimo's Simulacrum is sent to a spot behind where Irenicus will spawn, ready to backstab him (the party will get teleported to Irenicus for the fight, but summons, including Simulacra, are unaffected).
As soon as control is restored after the conversation between Ellesime and Irenicus, Yoshimo and his Simulacrum attack, taking advantage of a small delay before Irenicus's contingencies put up his Combat Protections (Stoneskin, Protection from Magical Weapons). This small delay is all it takes for Yoshimo and his Simulacrum to bring Irenicus to his knees. Following Irenicus's defeat, Smilge and Yoshimo are torn from the mortal world and brought to the Abyss, where Smilge must face his demons to retrieve his soul.
Smilge must retrieve Tear(s) of Bhaal in order to open the door to his destiny.
When the party arrives in Hell, Smilge goes for the easiest and fastest Tear of Bhaal. Smilge talk locks the demon to avoid the conversation and grabs the tear from the seemingly empty room. The room causes a fear effect every few seconds to all who enter it, but Smilge manages to make his saving throw and avoids it.
Smilge is able to use the single Tear five times to open the door, rather than the usual five Tears once each. This is thanks to a glitch discovered by Clone_Rizzo.
When you use a Tear of Bhaal on the door, two things happen. First, there is an animation on one of the eyes and you get a boon of some kind ("You have become immune to +1 weapons and less"). A moment passes, then the Tear of Bhaal is removed from your inventory. If the Tear of Bhaal is dropped after the animation occurs but before the Tear is removed, the Tear will remain and can be used again. By abusing this glitch, a single Tear of Bhaal can be used five times to open the door.
Yoshimo is removed from the party at the perfect moment, and he interrupts Irenicus's cutscene. Yoshimo rejoins the party and has time to get into position before Irenicus summons the demons. By the end of the next cutscene, Yoshimo is a stealthed Iron Golem behind a boss. If you watched the speedrun up to this point you should have an idea of what happens next. Jon Irenicus is too busy casting True Sight to even be bothered to put up any Combat Protections, so Yoshimo lands a 128 damage backstab. This is enough to defeat Irenicus, once and for all.
Thanks for reading/watching. Hope you enjoyed it.
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