One of the biggest twists of Baldur’s Gate 3 was foreshadowed in the lyrics of a certain catchy song. Major spoilers ahead for Baldur’s Gate 3.
If you’ve been playing Larian Studios’ RPG, you’ll know that it’ll take some time to unravel the true mystery surrounding your dream visitor, the Guardian, who guides you along your journey.
As you progress, it’s later revealed that the Guardian is actually a Mindflayer who calls themselves the Emperor after being turned into the creature years ago and is actively trying to persuade you to their side to defeat the Elder Brain.
It’s a surprising reveal, especially if you’ve grown to trust them. Still, it’s not until you reach Act 3 and delve deeper into the depths of the city of Baldur’s Gate that you discover another shocking revelation about the Emperor – they’re actually Balduran, the founder of the city.
However, it turns out that the answers to the character’s identity were in the player’s face the whole time (via PC Gamer).
Later on, you, the player, can find some of their possessions in the Emperor’s room in the Elfsong Tavern. “My cutlery set,” the Emperor will say. “A gift from my mother. The butter knife is missing, but otherwise, it looks to be complete. I don’t need it anymore, but the memory stirs something within me still.”
As spotted by user CaptainChalky on the game’s subreddit, this is a direct reference to the first Baldur’s Gate game, explaining, “Late in Baldur’s Gate 1, you’re given a quest to try and locate the shipwreck of Balduran’s final voyage and find out what happened to him along with recovering any relics relating to him.”
One of those relics is the missing butter knife the Emperor mentions, with the quest note reading, “Legends often speak of Balduran’s Butter Knife … it is believed that his mother gave the ornate butter knife to him as an eighteenth birthday gift.”
Cool right? But that’s not all. If you didn’t play the first game in the series, there’s a more obvious hint that reveals the identity of your dream visitor, and it’s in the lyrics of the game’s catchiest song – the Song of Balduran.
One commenter adds that the song will play faintly in the background when you first meet the Emperor in their true form, which is the same tune that plays on a loop in Elfsong Tavern.
“O, sing a song of Balduran / Who founded Baldur’s Gate… When three, though dead, assailed his port / Transformed, he fell their thrall / Succumbed as threat from nether years / Arose to conquer all,” read the lyrics.
The song lyrics also go on to cite that Balduran is now helping “a knave, a wizard, devil, gith” to save the city, which some players figure is referencing Astarion, Gale, Wyll, and Lae’Zel.
After visiting the tavern countless times throughout Act 3, even I didn’t catch on to the obvious hint; there’s even a book in the same containing the words to the song to make it more on the nose.
The entire game is incredibly detailed, but the little touches like these make Baldur’s Gate 3 a truly special role-playing experience.