Baldur’s Gate 3 features more mind flayers, dragons, and lustful party members than you can shake a stick at. By the end of the 100-plus hour campaign, your main character will likely have gone through plenty of turmoil and — depending on their relationship with the pesky mind flayer tadpole that was rudely inserted into their skull at the beginning of the whole shebang — more than a couple of lifestyle changes.
That’s why I was caught off guard when I walked up to a random mirror in the Blighted Village after spending 50 hours honing my unscrupulous Illithid powers to turn an entire colony of goblins into goblin steak tartare. As I gazed at my reflection, I got hit with some unexpected wisdom from another game: “Still me — even after everything,” my character said.
It’s a cute, but subtle shout-out to Undertale, another popular (albeit far tinier) RPG that humanizes its monsters and questions the moral fabric underlying player agency. In that game, the main character, Frisk, can approach a mirror near the end of the game and interact with it. At that point, a dialogue box appears, saying, “Despite everything, it’s still you.”
This is one of those throwaway lines that’s easy to miss if you aren’t paying close attention. Especially since it’s one of several lines that your character might say when left-clicking on a standing mirror. And yet it’s such a slick throwback in the context of Baldur’s Gate 3’s broader — and often shamelessly grotesque — plot, that I’m inspired to continue hunting for more references and Easter eggs in the hope that a similar one will catch my eye. Pun intended.
Luckily, others on the internet are also beginning to uncover similarly clever shout-outs to Final Fantasy 14, Diablo, and even a rather obvious harp on Planescape: Torment — considering how much of that game revolves around Avernus, the literal tutorial area of Baldur’s Gate 3.
The most prominent Easter eggs are, obviously, attributed to earlier entries in the Baldur’s Gate series — as well as some throwbacks to Larian’s Divinity: Original Sin 2 and the lesser-known original that preceded it. Yes, it has Minsc and Jaheira from the first two Baldur’s Gate games. Yes, it has the Mask of the Shapeshifter from Divinity: Original Sin 2. Yes, you can place the Mask of the Shapeshifter on Minsc or Jaheira.
However, I’m just as pleased by the smaller, subtler “blink and you’ll miss it” in-jokes between moments. The aforementioned Undertale gag is a fantastic bit of flavor text, and now I’m left curious at how many similar lines have totally flown over my head, like two besieged mind flayer nautiloids crash-landing on opposite banks of the River Chionthar in the night. But subtler.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is out now on PC. It’s coming to the PlayStation 5 on September 6.