So, because I suffer from congenital brain damage, I got it in my head to replay Baldur’s Gate 2 with whatever the prolific mod community has come up with. This is how to do this while saving yourself the hours of frustration and re-installing BG2 over and over. No, really, follow these instructions TO THE LETTER or you will suffer. Oh yes. You will suffer.

Hopefully by my leaving this post, if you follow in my wake, you will spend somewhat less sleepless hours pounding at install scripts.

My mission: to install what the Infinity Engine community calls “The Big Picture” – how to install EVERY major third party mod created for the Baldur’s Gate series. Because, well, the original 100+ hours of content wasn’t enough.

Note: I didn’t actually install the FULL MEGA GARGANTUA HUGEOLA, because it’s part of the integration of Baldur’s Gate 1 into the BG2 engine and I personally hate low-level D&D and didn’t want to have nail biting encounters with kobolds and large rats again. But if you want you can install that as well and play from level 1 to level AWESOME. I’m sure it’ll only take you a few hours of tweaking ini files. If you’re like me and don’t want to replay BG1, follow the steps below. IN ORDER. OR YOU WILL START OVER. AND GET THE HOSE.

Install Baldur’s Gate 2. (Remember, you can hit Alt-F4 during the uncancellable preview ad for Neverwinter Nights ONE to cancel it. I’m sure Interplay doesn’t mind, being out of business and all.)
Install Throne of Baal
Install latest patch for Throne of Baal

Download the following to your BG2 directory, run and/or extract them, then run the file listed:

BG2 Fixpack (nitpicky balance-type fixes)
Run the file Setup – BG2 Fixpack and install.

Shadows over Soubar (huge module):

Run the file Setup – SoS and install, including the Remorhaz Walking Fix, whatever the hell that is. Maybe they were quadroplegic remorhaz.

The Darkest Day (omgz huge module):

Run the file Setup – TDD and install, including the TDD Character Kits, because you do actually want 50 extra character classes to choose from.

Check the Bodies (only a moderately huge module, slackers):

Extract, then extract the following files in the directory as well before running:
link 2
link 3
Run Setup – CtB and install. It will prompt you to install Chores as well. Yes, as part of the new user experience YOU WILL BE DOING CHORES. Dear God, I’m not making this up. In fact I wasted three hours trying to uninstall this misbegotten idea before finding the fix below. Anyway, you do actually want to install Chores as welll. Then run Setup – CtB_FF. This adds a menu option to Gorion that lets you say no, I don’t particularly want to make every bed in Candlekeep. (No seriously, they make you do that. You also have to milk cows. In return you get a special ability, I guess from the smallpox.) Anyway the mod itself is good, but whoever thought making you do household chores in an RPG was a good idea needs to either be shot or work for EA on the Sims 2 expansions.

ANYWAY. You think we are done? No we are not!!

Tortured Souls (mod with even more character development – go find Yoshimo’s parents and stuff)
Unpack and run Setup-TS-BP

The Big Picture (combines all of the above mods into one OMG GIGANTICUS package)
link 2
Download both and extract. The second is a recent post that is a fix to BP 177 that unbreaks Throne of Baal pathfinding. Yes, they’re still developing this, years later. Anyway, run Setup-BPv177 (it will take a while) and then run Setup-BPv177-TOBfix.

Worldmap (Gives you a map with all of the above in-game)
Download, extract, run Setup-BP-BGT-Worldmap. Select the Megasuperjujumix option, not the Tutu option (which is BG1). Go ahead and install the TOB map too, go nuts.

Finally, at some point where I lost count because I began drinking heavily, one of the above packages (I think Big Picture) included a GUI switcher for when you launch the game (each megasuperwhizzy mod has its own launch screen). Run Setup-GUI and pick the Tortured Souls option, because it lets you install the easier-to-read Icewind Dale font. Plus it puts Lulu in the game’s splash screen, but I really don’t know why, unless you save Lulu from Squall somewhere in CD 3.

You’re good to go now. Feel free to run BG2 setup to tweak your settings up as high as they go, but don’t enable 3D support — in Windows XP on my ATI card it made the screen strobe like crazy. Ran fine with 3D support disabled.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure all of the above works, because I spent a good two hours of my life doing menial chores in Candlekeep.