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News video games 26 March 2024, 03:03

author: Alexandra Sokol

Baldur’s Gate 3 Original Version Let Us Convert Villains. One of Main Antagonists Was Considered Recruitable

We're left to wonder what line of thinking Larian Studios followed in making the would-be companion a faction of the Dead Three.

Source: Larian Studios


Gaming events provide a great opportunity to share interesting developer insights, especially about the most well-known titles. During this year's edition of the Game Developers Conference, Swen Vincke - the founder of Larian Studios - was particularly eager to talk about the beginnings of Baldur's Gate 3.

This is how we found out that the main character's inner circle could have appeared entirely different - and it's not only about Astarion's different looks. The player could invite even one of the main antagonists to the camp.

Is Myrkul with us?

While leading the conference, Vincke admitted that a large number of potential companions were cut during development of Baldur. The official game version already has ten allies that we can recruit during the journey - and it turns out there were supposed to be even more. Swen admitted that his personal favorite was Ketheric Thorm.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Original Version Let Us Convert Villains. One of Main Antagonists Was Considered Recruitable - picture #1
Source: Larian Studios

You don't have to rub your eyes in disbelief, because you read it correctly. One of BG3's leading villains could experience his redemption arc and join our party.

A moment where he [Ketheric] breaks, that moment led to recruitment normally. We cut that out when we were rescoped. It was part of the fixing of Act two (...). He was supposed to be in your camp while you were dealing with Gortash and with Orin. So he became a source of information on them, and he could trust, you could get him to his arc. You could then be convinced by him to go to his side.

-- Swen Vincke

Ketheric is the main boss in the current version of the game, and we hear about him multiple times until the end of the second act. Through the power of persuasion, a follower of Myrkul can doubt his beliefs, which ultimately ends in his death anyway. Removing Ketheric's companion was necessary to clean the plotline, yet it must be acknowledged that the prospect of confronting him at the camp is quite intriguing.

More extensive map at the expense of diversity

Discoverable companions aren't the sole element removed from the final version of Baldur's Gate. Vincke also revealed that the game was supposed to have many more locations. The cost here was supposed to be the size of the map - the locations not taken into account would be significantly smaller than what we know from the actual game.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Original Version Let Us Convert Villains. One of Main Antagonists Was Considered Recruitable - picture #2
Source: Larian Studios

The palace of Queen Vlaakith, the town of Candlekeep from the first Baldur, and the return to Hell were among the things that were removed. Vincke justifies this decision with the benefits for world exploration.

There was a moment where the maps were going to be smaller, and so we were going to be able to give you bigger diversity of locations that you would explore. But then the problem with those massive is that the sense of exploration wasn't really present. So that's why we killed a whole bunch of them. So it was a very fine balance between trying to figure out what the right size of these things was, but we wrote a lot.

-- Swen Vincke

The interview with the founder of Larian Studios reaffirms our conviction that BG3 has made significant progress towards becoming Game of the Year. Perhaps we will eventually get to see fragments from the initial developer versions, featuring the amicable Ketheric attacking the githyanki goddess's palace?

Alexandra Sokol

Alexandra Sokol

She joined Gamepressure in the summer of 2023. Talks about games and events from their world. A graduate of English philology, who was able to dedicate her entire scientific work to the character of Commander Shepard from the Mass Effect series. She has experience in working on audiovisual translations, and currently combines her job as an English teacher with her passion, which is writing. Privately a bookworm, mother of two cats, and a fervent fan of Dragon Age and Cyberpunk 2077, who has spent half her life on the fandom side of the Internet.