Drow versus Illithid

A pact with the Illithid Mindflayer

Why did I choose such an ugly creature to cover my blog and what is a mindflayer anyway?

I was surprised to read and hear that some people didn’t know what a mindflayer was. And to be honest, after reading up on it, there wasn’t as much to find about them as I had thought.

I first learned about them when I was playing Baldur’s Gate II and I entered The Underdark for the first time. You know, that dark underground world consisting of interconnected tunnels and caves inhabited by the worst and most evil creatures imaginable. Back then in 2000 I was pretty new to the genre and I had heard little about this “Underdark”.

Illithid MindflayerI must say I was immediately impressed when I entered it. The immense world under the surface where no ‘surfacer’ dared to enter… and I could see why. It wasn’t long until we met the first drow gang, and it wasn’t a friendly meeting! After looting their corpses it occurred to me that they were wielding impressive armor & weapons, most of them better than what I had. Anyway, we moved on and said hi to some other unfriendly underground creatures such as duergar, svirfneblin, beholders, kobolds and even a friendly dragon! Not all of them were as easy to defeat but then we entered the Illithid cave…

The doors closed behind, some creature appeared and sent out psionic waves. We were immediately captured. Forced to fight in their arena we found some allies to help us escape.  However the Illithid Mindflayers that had captured us weren’t unlike anything we had encountered up until then. Their psychic abilities allowed them to turn my own people against me and incapacitate the other ones. I had a hard time to figure out the right strategy to defeat these monstrosities! Easily the toughest / most impressive creatures I ever encountered in a game.

To cut to the point, they made a lasting impression and I’ve always been curious to learn more about them. So when I decided I was gonna make a blog I started thinking about fantasy creatures, places, characters… lots of things crossed my mind but nothing really jumped out of it or was just plain boring or overused. Then I thought about the mindflayers. Since a blog is like a collection of shreds of the mind I thought it would be fitting to use the mindflayer as my mascot.

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  • http://twitter.com/_Maxine_ Maxine

    I always knew I was getting something on with a nerdy type of guy. But until now I never fully understood the gravity of the situation…

    • Jeroen Savat

      haha :) just scratching the surface!
      O/T: never did reach the later stages of baldur’s gate (2), but the parts I did play were damned good. Great atmosphere!

  • Dennis

    The Underdark and the Illithid most of all was really a hard area in BG2. I was unpleasantly suprised when my party was so easily beaten by them. Did you know they are making a new version of BG2 with enhanced graphics but staying treu to the complete game/rules/story. 

    • ForEach

      Wow I knew they had resurrected baldursgate.com but there was only a logo back then. If and when the new version releases I’ll be sure to spend hours on it again! I’ll look a bit deeper into it and I guess I’ll make a blogpost about Baldur’s Gate in the near future ^^