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YMMV / Icewind Dale

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  • Alt-itis: The vast number of Fantasy Character Classes and seven playable races and multiple ways to build your characters can cause this for some, particularly in the Enhanced Edition of the first game, which brought 2e class kits — including those exclusive to the EE and two cleric kits which didn't feature in Baldur's Gate — to the table.
  • Awesome Ego: Yxunomei is a fan favourite precisely because of her astounding arrogance and memorable, insult-laden dialogue.
    Yxunomei: Your involvement in this matter is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. A mote of dust floating for a small moment in a sea of time.
    PC: You're right, oh mighty one. But... aren't we all really just motes of dust, floating in a sea of time?
    PC: My oh my, don't we feel important?
    Yxunomei: Quite.
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  • Awesome Music: The music was composed by Jeremy Soule, the same man who composed Baldur's Gate and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. You can found the soundtrack on YouTube here.
  • Complete Monster: The wicked devil Belhifet disguises himself as Brother Poquelin to steadily recruit people to his armies so he may conquer Ten Towns. Using evil beings to wipe out anyone who may get close to the truth, Belhifet intends on sweeping over Ten Towns to destroy it and reap the souls of all there for his infernal armies so he may unleash Baator upon the mortal plane. Even before being defeated, Belhifet rapes many women to father half-devil children to further his plans. After his defeat, Belhifet turns out to be the secret villain of the Siege of Dragonspear, having tried to kidnap and torture Caelar Argent as a child. The secret master of Hephernaan who manipulated all the evil of the Shining Crusade, Belhifet intends on the utter devastation of the Material Plane.
  • Demonic Spiders: You'll find many of these in both games:
    • Mummies. Unlike their Baldur's Gate counterparts, they can cast Flame Strike, and you face them as early as Chapter 1.
    • Salamanders. They have either cold or fire auras and always come in large groups. Their auras even damage you when they're not hostile toward you!
    • Umber Hulks. Looking straight in their eyes will confuse you if you fail your saves. That they're also backed up by Minotaurs is not helpful either.
    • Wailing Virgins. They inflict a lot of magic damage to all party members whenever they release a scream, and not just regular magic damage either — magic damage which bypasses magic resistance.
    • Harpies. Their songs can charm your party, leaving you vulnerable to other monsters. It pays to have an elf or two in your party when facing them.
    • Crypt Things. Whenever they touch you, you'll teleport to a random part of the dungeon.
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    • Werejackals. Their gaze can inflict sleep on their victims. Again, it pays to have elves around when fighting them.
    • Driders. They web you while calling other Driders for help.
  • Evil Is Cool: In the sequel, Dreadmasters of Bane are the most popular choice for a cleric because of their many Badass Boasts, opportunities to motivate people out of fear with a Rousing Speech or two and the fact that they can get a nice stat bonus from Bane himself if they play their cards right in a certain sidequest.
  • Good Bad Bugs: So you think you need fire or acid to kill trolls? Wrong! If a troll get phased, stunned or paralysed while you deal the finishing blow, they will die, saving your precious fire/acid spells for other monsters.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: When the Heart of Winter expansion was first released, people complained how short it was. This prompted Black Isle to release a second expansion, Trials of the Luremaster, free of charge.
  • Narm:
  • Narm Charm: Yxunemei, a powerful maralith demon, makes a variety of scathing comments and verbose, pretentious speeches about her vast superiority over the party, whom she writes off as motes of dust. Even if the player insults her back, she isn't particularly incited to anger, but calmly conveys her very clear disdain for what you are, what you think, and what you stand for, alternating between Purple Prose and curt one-word-answers to get the point across. This discussion would be a lot less memorable if she didn't spend it in the form of a bizarre little girl excellently voiced by Tara Strong. The entire exchange is played completely seriously, and the player can lampshade their opponent's incredibly odd mannerisms.
  • Nintendo Hard: Icewind Dale is much harder than the already tough Baldur's Gate games, and Icewind Dale 2 is harder still.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Kresselack. He's only spoken to twice and is a relatively minor character forgotten early in the game. But he's voiced by Tony Jay, and his backstory and character are more well-developed and memorable than a lot of other major characters in either of the two games.
  • Scrappy Weapon: Bastard swords in Icewind Dale II. You're required to take the exotic weapons feat before being able to use them, making them unpopular with players.
  • That One Attack: In the sequel, a cleric of Xvim and Madae casts Blasphemy, a nasty spell that stuns everyone instantly. It's cast extremely quickly and there's no saving throw against it. The only way to counter it is to have an evil alignment or to raise your spell resistance very high.
  • That One Boss: The optional fight with the four Iron Golems in the Black Raven Monastery basement is extremely difficult if you aren't very well equipped. The Golems will ignore almost all damage done by anything less than a +3 weapon, of which there are very few by that point in the game (most of which are otherwise weak short swords). They ignore all magic damage, are healed by fire, are very difficult to hit in melee and hit like freight trains. Oh, and they'll constantly spam poison gas clouds which will insta-kill many summons and rapidly drain your PC's health.
  • That One Level: Icewind Dale II has quite a few:
    • Battle Arena. You have 1 minute to defeat a random monster with difficulty scaling up. The catch? The arena is a 3x3 square. To win a single battle, you need to win 3 fights on 3 squares so they form a line, tic-tac-toe style. There's a minimum of 250 battles to complete the quest. You're allowed only one combatant and the rest of your party is automatically locked-up. Battle Arena is completely optional, but if you skip it you'll be missing out some very good quest rewards.
      • For those who are truly sick of the Battle Arena, there is a mod that will allow you to bypass the fights but still get the items.
    • Felwood. Didn't put any skills points in Wildneness Lore skill? Good luck finding your way around this trap-filled maze, as the areas are all identical.
    • The Black Raven monastery. To reach the Underdark, you need to complete 8 trials. Don't have a monk in your party? Good luck fighting without your favorite armor and your best magic weapon. Which is probably why people prefer to slay all the monks rather than enduring the trials.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: In Icewind Dale II, it is hard to sympathise with the Ten-Towns when the whole conflict was literally started by the mayor responding to the Legion of the Chimera's overtures of peace by attempting to assassinate its leaders with cakes poisoned with holy water. And the player's only option is to massacre the entire Legion of the Chimera, simply because they had audacity to get angry due to being treated like crap. The attacks the Ten-Towns suffered as a result come across as something they had coming.


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