In a multi-layered mistake that can’t be adequately described within Baldur’s Gate 3‘s conservative six-level magic system, one unlucky player has soft-locked themselves out of the RPG’s final fight through an absolute clown fiesta of death and death gods, inadvertently writing the ultimate lesson on quick-saving.
Spoilers for Baldur’s Gate 3 Act 2 ahead.
Reddit user palomAstra shared their misfortune with the CRPG’s community earlier this week. Their mixup sounds impossible at first blush: “Finished Act 2 without getting Netherstone.” You know, the stone you get from the unavoidable Ketheric and Myrkul fight? The stone that jump-starts the climactic events of Act 3, and one of the three stones necessary to take on the big bad at the end of the game? Yeah, that one.
How did they do it? It all started with the first fight with Ketheric on the Moonrise Towers rooftop, palomAstra explains. Shadowheart was separated from the party after beating Ketheric, so only three of their party members actually jumped down into the Mind Flayer colony. Shadowheart was then stuck up top with the entrance to the colony sealed.
If you’re screaming that this is the point where palomAstra should’ve reloaded a save, you’re absolutely right. Alas, it only gets worse: the player laments that they “definitely should have reloaded a (now-deleted) save like 100 hours ago.”
Instead of, at worst, redoing the short Ketheric tower fight, they pressed on in the Mind Flayer colony, ultimately reaching the bottom and beating Ketheric again with their three-person team. However, they died during the second stage of the fight after Myrkul was summoned.
But remember, Shadowheart is still safe on the surface. In other words, the whole party didn’t technically die, so Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t cut to game over. At this point I probably would’ve had Shadowheart die just to see what happened, but instead, palomAstra had her revive their three dead members back at camp. The thing is, Myrkul is still alive and holding that all-important Netherstone, but now nobody up on the surface can get back into the sealed Mind Flayer colony to finish the fight.
“Couldn’t get back into [Mind Flayer] colony, so went to [Baldur’s Gate] which triggered Act 3,” our tragic hero concludes. “Continued playing for 100 hours (lol) and now can’t get to [the] final fight because I’m missing Ketheric’s netherstone.”
“Anyone else run into this?” palomAstra asked the bewildered Baldur’s Gate 3 community.
“My guy, I can quite confidently say that the answer is no. No one has run into this issue,” the top-voted reply reads.
“This is an advanced, 7th level fuck up,” observes another horrified reader.
“I deserve to take some flak for this one,” palomAstra admits in another response.
“Nothing seemed glitched out and Act 3 was going great until I tried to get on the boat to the brain and Emperor was like ‘nah, chump! You shall not pass.’ Bills came due I guess,” they explain.
The worst part is that palomAstra is playing on PS5, meaning they can’t easily wiggle their way out of this like they could on PC with Baldur’s Gate 3 cheats and console commands. However, thanks to Larian’s cross-platform saves, they could theoretically escape this fate by getting the game on PC and either teleporting into the Mind Flayer colony or just spawning Ketheric’s Netherstone, but that’s assuming the game registers things correctly after, apparently, all of Act 3. Failing that, they’d have to dig up an extremely old save, but those seem to have been deleted. It’s a real rock-and-hard-place situation.
“This may be the little kick I need to switch to PC,” palomAstra said.
I’ve reached out to palomAstra to see if they were able to find some resolution to this horrible, hilarious soft-lock, and I’ll update this story if I hear back. For the hell of it, I’ve also asked Larian if it has any advice for players facing a problem like… this.
Meanwhile, the actor behind Baldur’s Gate 3’s Lae’zel is attacking druids, stealing idols, and kicking squirrels in truly chaotic evil streams.