- Baldur’s Gate 3 is full of hidden mechanics and Easter eggs, including pop culture references to Final Fantasy XIV and Jimmy Neutron.
- The game also includes references to famous works of literature, such as several works by Shakespeare and Poe.
- Other references come from Peter Pan, The Simpsons and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Baldur’s Gate 3 contains many references to other works of media. While some of them are certainly expected, like the recurrence of characters like Minsc and Jaheira from prior Baldur’s Gate games, others truly come out of left field, subtle enough to fly directly over players’ heads.
Indeed, Baldur’s Gate 3 is full of hidden mechanics and Easter eggs, many of which will pass completely unnoticed if players aren’t looking for them. Its pop culture references are some of the easiest to notice, since they’re often playing on the most well-known facets of movies, TV shows, music, and literature. But even still, their subtlety makes them hard to grasp at times. Here are some of the most intriguing referential Easter eggs for players to discover in Baldur’s Gate 3.
10 A Smile Better Suits A Hero
When the party encounters Alfira at the Last Light Inn in Act Two, they can choose how to respond to her despair. Providing a measure of hope grants a point of Inspiration to characters with the Hero background, Wyll included, with the title, “A Smile Better Suits…” This is a reference to a line spoken by Haurchefant Greystone at the end of the Heavensward expansion for Final Fantasy XIV. When the player character regards his injury with fright, Haurchefant laughs and says, “Oh no, do not look at me so. A smile better suits a hero.” Not everyone will catch this one, but for those who do, it cuts deeply.
9 Brain Blast!
From Jimmy Neutron
Another referential Inspiration caption is “Brain Blast!” This refers to the catchphrase of one Jimmy Neutron, protagonist of the 2001 film Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and its spin-off series. In order to see this one, players will need to have a character with the Sage background in their party while solving one of the hardest puzzles in Baldur’s Gate 3: the neural node puzzle in the Necrotic Laboratory.
8 To Sleep, Perchance To Dream
A third point of Inspiration references the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Actually called “To Sleep, Perchance To Dream Tentacled Dreams,” this point is awarded to Haunted One characters who kill the Mind Flayer pinned under a piece of rubble near the Nautiloid Crash Site in Act One. It’s more relevant than it may seem at first glance. In the context of the soliloquy, Hamlet is speaking of the afterlife as a series of dreams.
7 What Fools These Mortals Be
From A Midsummer Night’s Dream
As an offhand comment, Gale is known to sometimes say, “What fools these mortals be.” This is another one drawn directly from Shakespeare, in this case, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The line is famously delivered by Puck, a fairy, as he watches several of the play’s human characters devolve into petty squabbles over their various love affairs. It’s perfectly fitting for the worldly and sometimes pretentious Gale, a known lover of poetry.
6 Trust And A Little Pixie Dust
From Peter Pan
This is another Inspiration description, awarded to Guild Artisan characters when they discover how the Moonlantern works in Act Two. This is a line directly out of Disney’s Peter Pan, but it has a much darker context in the Forgotten Realms. As it turns out, Moonlanterns are powered by the pixies trapped inside them. Players can choose to release trapped pixies in Baldur’s Gate 3 if they find a working one, so at least this story can have a happy ending.
5 Villains! Dissemble No More!
From “The Tell-Tale Heart”
Baldur’s Gate 3 references the writings of Edgar Allan Poe with surprising frequency. One of the lengthiest quotes comes when controlling Astarion, and selecting a variety of objects in quick succession. He begins quoting the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” in which a murderer is tormented by the sound of his victim’s still-beating heart. But Astarion quickly puts his own deadly turn on the phrase. “Villains! Dissemble no more,” he says, “I admit the deed! Tear up the floor – here, here! It is the beating of his hideous hea- oh, no, that’s his brain. Where did I leave that heart?”
4 Quoth The Raven
From “The Raven” (And Possibly The Discworld Series)
One of the animals available to summon with the find familiar spell is a raven. Unlike most of the other available animal summons, however, the raven has a name: Quothe. In other words, it can be referred to as “Quothe the raven,” paraphrasing another of Poe’s works: the poem “The Raven.” A similarly named raven also appears in Terry Pratchett’s comic fantasy novel series Discworld and some of its TV adaptations, so this could be a sly reference to that Quoth, too.
3 Itchy & Scratchy
From The Simpsons (And Possibly Gravity Falls)
When meeting Lucretious, the ringmaster at the Circus of the Last Days, the first thing most will notice is the many disembodied hands crawling all over her camp. Two of them are named Itchy and Scratchy, after characters in the ultraviolent, Tom & Jerry-inspired cartoon-within-a-cartoon that features prominently in The Simpsons. But as it turns out, they’re not the first disembodied hands to take on that name. The Gravity Falls episode “Hands Off,” in which a solitary witch steals people’s hands to keep her company, two of them are named Itchy and Scratchy, too.
2 My Cabbages!
From Avatar: The Last Airbender
There are many sights to see in the titular city of Baldur’s Gate, and one of them is a greengrocer mourning his overturned cart full of cabbages. This is a reference to a running joke in the series Avatar: The Last Airbender, in which a put-upon cabbage merchant repeatedly tries to keep his stall right-side-up, only to have it destroyed during multiple action scenes. In Baldur’s Gate 3, the merchant surveys the cabbage carnage around him while repeating a similar phrase to Avatar‘s merchant: “My cabbages! My beautiful cabbages…“
1 Bernard The Construct
At the top of the Arcane Tower in the Underdark, the party encounters a character named Bernard, a construct who speaks in poetic riddles. He shares his name with a character from Westworld, a series about robots, but the similarities still go deeper. Westworld‘s Bernard programs the robots that inhabit the titular theme park. He speaks a special language with them, issuing cryptic commands in the form of poetic verse. This is remarkably similar to BG3‘s own Bernard, suggesting that the two characters sharing a name is more than mere coincidence.
Those are some of the best pop culture references in BG3, but they’re far from the only Easter eggs in the game. These ten little in-jokes are barely scratching the surface, and players are still finding new ones every day. There are almost certainly more referential Easter eggs to be found in Baldur’s Gate 3, and it’s worth looking for them at every opportunity.
- Baldur’s Gate
- macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5
- Larian Studios
- Larian Studios
- Larian Studios
- Baldur’s Gate 3 is a long-anticipated sequel to Baldur’s Gate 2, released in 2000 from BioWare and now being handled by Larian Studios. Set 120 years after the events of Shadows of Amn, Baldur’s Gate 3 puts players in the role of a customizable protagonist who has been captured and infected with a parasite that will turn them into a mind flayer. Before the process is complete, the ship they are on crashes, leaving them on a quest to cure themselves as they meet up with other survivors. Gameplay is turn-based and can be played co-operatively online or tackled alone in a single-player campaign with NPC allies.
- How Long To Beat:
- 50 – 100 hours
- Baldur’s Gate 2